Pregnancy Blog: 21 Weeks

Its a Girl!
Twenty-one weeks pregnant and we got a routine ultrasound done this week.  I can’t even begin to explain how incredible that experience was.  I’ve seen pictures of other people’s ultrasounds, but they are always grainy and hard to see.  The real- time experience is so much better.  We could see her move and even see the wrinkles in the skin on the soles of her feet. She was sitting cross-legged at the beginning, with her hands above her head.  We watched her rubbing her face and even pulling on one thumb.  She was kicking and moving and stretching out her legs.  Then, I kid you not, she took one leg and pulled it up to her face and sat there like she was doing head-to-knee pose.  She had one hand wrapped around the back of her thigh and the other rubbing her head.  It’s hard to believe that my own hips were that flexible once.  The lab technician said I was lucky that I couldn’t feel all of her movements or I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

To date, I’ve only gained five pounds.  The baby’s measurements were great on the ultrasound.  She’s gaining weight, there’s plenty of amniotic fluid, my fundus is at 21 centimeters (right on track) so there’s nothing to worry about.  I’ve really done well supplementing the calories I burn while taking class.  What I hadn’t thought about is replacing the calories I burn while teaching.  In addition to a pregnant woman’s metabolism, I’m also trying to stay cool, walk around and yak for 90 minutes at a time one or two times a day.  I don’t have any numbers on amount of calories burned teaching, but I’d be willing to guess it’s around 200.

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Pregnancy Blog: 19 Weeks

Mount Major
I hiked Mount Major this weekend and I was surprised at how hard it was.  I had a hard time catching my breath and had to stop about 10 times to rest.  Mt. Major is a hike that I would rip off in 40 minutes or less without needing a break except maybe to slug a little water just a few months ago.

At about eight weeks, I hiked Mount Monadnock and thought I was going to die.  I was shocked at feeling so out of control of my physical fitness.  I quickly I lost my breath and had to stop and rest over and over again.  I felt light headed and breathless within five minutes of hiking.

I had expected, at eight weeks, to feel all of those things. It makes physiological sense.  In the first trimester, it is normal for a pregnant woman to get lightheaded easily because blood pressure can be low as the body is trying to make up an additional two liters of blood to supply the growing uterine muscle, additional blood vessels and the baby.  I had guessed that this far into my second trimester that things would be a lot easier.

My midwife says that it is completely normal.  Even though my body has completed the needed two extra liters of blood and my blood pressure is back up to normal, there is still an increased demand for oxygen from the fetus and seven liters (instead of five) of blood to oxygenate.  It all makes sense, but I was not expecting it.

Pregnancy Blog: 16 Weeks

Someone told me this week that they were glad to hear I was pregnant because they thought I had just been eating too much ice cream.  More students have figured it out or are passing the news on. I feel like I get more energy every single day.  It feels so good not to feel bad that I am ecstatic.  I’ve felt a little rolling and pressure in my abdomen, but no concrete kicks yet.  I do, however, have regular Braxton-Hicks contractions.  I notice after I lie down from a backbend that my uterus gets firm and bulges up.  It was surprising at first, but my midwife says it’s a normal reaction to exercise and activity and it all serves to make my uterine muscle stronger for childbirth.

The pregnancy modifications feel really good.  The only thing I miss in the release in my upper back that you get from Rabbit and Head-to-Knee.  The Cat/Cow in place of Rabbit is a fair substitute, but in no way as deep a stretch.

I am surprised, but already my belly is in the way in Spine Twisting.  Even with my lower leg extended, I can still feel too much compression in my lower abdomen.  I have had to start twisting in the opposite direction (open).  Most of the twist happens in my mid-back and upper back.