19 weeks… the penultimate (round 1)

This time next week, our little blog will be emanating a vibrant glow.

Finding out in just three days whether we have a male of the species, or one of the female variety on the way feels a bit surreal.  My husband is super-excited about having a little girl that we can enter into some glitz pageants (kidding… sort of.)

It’s incredible how often people say “do you have a preference?” Answering that question is such a mine-field.  Yes, I do, as a matter of fact – not in the same way that the College of Physicians and Surgeons is considering revisiting their guidelines for relaying gender identification information, but sure, I have an easier time visualizing me with a girl.  I’d assume that this is mostly due to the understanding that I have quite a bit of experience being a girl, and am fairly confident that I could excel at being involved with the kinds of things that little girls like to do.  Also- on my side of our new family- of the six grandchildren that my parents already have, five are boys!  There hasn’t been a new little girl in the clan since the mid-eighties!

All this said, I can definitely appreciate the benefits of having a little boy.  Wardrobe-wise, it would likely be a significantly smaller investment to dress a “he” rather than a “she”…  and then there’s the teenage years – overall, boys must be less drama, right?

But, the minutes are ticking by, and in about 65 hours, we’ll have a 99% sure idea of where we’re heading.  Regardless of the result, we’re thinking that soccer is a good choice of activity.

And in about 4,634 hours, my awesome friend Michelle is getting hitched, in what is sure to be a gorgeous ceremony (her colour scheme includes bright green, and she is even having table centerpieces that include glass bowls filled with Granny Smith apples.  Will be ultra-convenient if i’m still craving them post-baby)  That means that if all goes as planned, we’ll be toting our 6 week old little-one to the event.  So, with the advanced-knowledge that I’ll be wearing a dress-up dress that evening, I’m finding myself particularly sensitive to keeping the body changes to a controllable level wherever possible.  Honestly, this has been a big challenge up until this point; as I’ve mentioned (several times – several hundred, if you’re my husband)  Up until this point, the whole experience of being pregnant has basically knocked the wind right out of me – it’s challenging to work up the energy to head to the gym when the thought of even getting out of bed makes your tummy churn.

In reality, though – for reasons that extend far beyond being able to fit back into a pre-pregnancy dress within 6 weeks- a moderate amount of regular exercise is recommended for most pregnant women.  Personally, I have been (somewhat regularly) dabbling in walking, running, swimming, and yoga.  The universal counsel is generally to avoid launching into anything wildly different than what you may have been involved with before.  As my doctor explained it “if you’ve never ran a day in your life, this is not the time to train for your first marathon“.

on that note:

running:  In the grand scheme of the world, I would be considered to be “a runner”.  Prior to the pregnancy, I had completed 7 full marathons, about the same number of halfs (including the one I had just finished in June 2011, moments before this pic was taken), and more 10 and 5kms than I can even remember.  I actually met my husband as a direct result of the excitement of coaching the previously-mentioned Michelle towards her first 10km run.  Unfortunately for me, running hasn’t been a viable, consistent choice of exercise for a few reasons: whether it is because I was being cautious and holding myself awkwardly, or due to the loosening and shifting of joints and ligaments (or a combination of the two) I suffered serious back pain after attempting a run at about 11 weeks (I made it about 4km before having to give up and limp back home).  This, combined with the bleeding-with-impact challenges that bridged my first and second trimesters has resulted in running being off my “approved” exercise rotation.

Many people can run without pain or complication well into their third trimester.  If this is your plan, definitely pass it by your doctor for approval (think about it – in your non-pregnant life it would be kind of like saying “doc, i’m planning on running with a 15 pound bowling ball hanging from my belt.”  It’s definitely not something to go into lightly (no pun intended).  And consider spending some time with a running coach as your body changes to make sure that your form is still working for you.

elliptical: my go-to.  So much to love about elliptical machines: a perfect combination of cardio and resistance, a countdown clock, a calorie burning tracker, a heart rate monitor (most recommendations are to keep the BPM under 150 while pregnant), a place to stash your water and – if you’re lucky- a cable-hooked-up TV to watch What Not To Wear (or whatever your vice of choice is) while you work out.  It’s pure, exercise heaven.  I honestly don’t have anything negative to say about ellipticals – this person might though.

walking: not to be underestimated, or under-prepared for.  I have an 18 minute walk to work each morning, and one of my earliest “symptoms” was that the uphill nature of the morning commute was actually making me breathe a little harder.  There are a ton of benefits to walking, especially as pregnant women become more likely to experience high blood pressure, and for many people, going for a walk can be a giant stress reliever.  Take the same precautions as you would with running – bring a drink, know where the bathrooms are along your route, dress appropriately for your climate and wear sunscreen!

yoga: At any time, it’s so nice to spend an hour or so in a quiet room, focusing on your body and your breath.  As a runner, I’m a big fan of yoga as a balance to my long distance runs.  It preserves/increases flexibility and can actually really give you a great upper body work out.  Again, during pregnancy, any time to quiet your mind and slow things down for a while is golden.  Definitely touch base with your instructor before the class and let him or her know how far along you are and any complications or pains you are experiencing so that modifications can be made specifically for you.  Throughout pregnancy, most people tend to avoid deep twists, poses that require laying flat on your tummy (or on your back in later stages), hot yoga, and holding any one standing pose for an extended period of time. Yoga also doesn’t have to be a huge investment – my local YMCA offers at least 2 classes every day that are included in the price of a regular membership, and most lululemon stores offer FREE classes at least once a week!

swimming: Again, an activity that seems to be tailor-made for this 9 months (and beyond) first of all, you get in the water and you’re weightless!  It’s also lovely and cooling to be in the water (I have turned into a little-furnace in the last few months), and there’s some natural resistance working out in the water.  It’s great.  If you can find an Aquafitness class, even better: it’s all the above with fun music to dance around to and a bunch of (often a bit older) ladies having a great time.  And with so many cute maternity bathing suits out there (many of which can be converted to post-baby), what’s stopping you?

So get out there, be active, be healthy!

Finally (as a treat) in case you have a special event that is coming up during your pregnancy check out this updated collection.  I am drooling over the luxe lace dress.

Here’s the 19 week stats:

baby size: Mango!

my size: steady at 161 pounds – 13 pounds total increase.

boy or girl: we find out friday – you find out on tuesday 🙂

still sick? only once this past week…  maybe we’ve finally kicked this thing

“other” health issues? a tiny bit of blood on one day.  Nothing scary this time.

how’s the hair? so glad you asked.  Thanks to a magical combination of tone-correcting shampoos and conditioners, a generous donation of clarifying shampoo from a friend, and good old-fashioned dish soap, the orangeness is definitely fading.  I’m going to keep on mega-wash mode for a few weeks, then try for low-lights (at a different salon – obviously).

what else is going on? apartment hunting.  ugh.

Next week: What to wear when prego in the springtime (yay for daylight savings time and post-work outdoor activities!) the virtual Gender Reveal Party, and find out the answer to the real question that everyone wants to know…  will we bring a frightening baby cake into work???

3 thoughts on “19 weeks… the penultimate (round 1)

  1. It is so exciting to find out the gender. I honestly thought we would have a girl because there are so many girls on my side of the family but I was wrong. When we found out we are having a boy my grandmother said, “what are we going to do with a boy” and my response was “we will figure it out!”. Now that we are planning for a boy and buying clothes and all we have had so much fun. So, either way it is very exciting.

  2. hey hunni. I wouldn’t worry about exercise while pregnant, regardless of how much exercise you do you will still put on 1-3 stone on average, which is completely normal. I know since i have been pregnant i am very wary of my body changes but they will go back to normal after birth which is a while away at the moment. I would just enjoy being pregant and the bump. The photograph you have posted is dead cute and you dont look big for 19 weeks at all! Very nice little bump.
    Hope all is well with you 🙂 xx

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