Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Foods I Crave

I get a lot of questions about whether or not I’ve started getting food cravings now that I am pregnant. The short answer is no. At least I don’t have any of the "I want chocolate ice cream with pickles" cravings. Usually my cravings are pretty short lived and they tend to be quite attainable. If we go out to eat and I look through the menu, I might suddenly crave French fries or a salad with ranch dressing. A few weeks ago I really craved taco bell and had to have it for lunch. Fortunately that only lasted a couple of days.

Fruit is the food I can’t get enough of. I love and crave citrus fruit, peaches, nectarines, melons, and especially plums. Unfortunately fruit doesn’t really satiate my grumbling tummy so I tend to only eat it between my every-two-hours meals. I need to have a protein rich food when I’m hungry otherwise I will still be hungry.

I like sweets like chocolate and ice cream, but during my pregnancy I have been fortunate enough not to crave them (they aren’t very nutrient rich). I will probably eat them if they are in front of me. My coworker brought brownies to work today and I had one. But I won’t go out and buy them. If I do want some sort of a treat, I’ll probably have a croissant or a turnover. I tend to prefer the buttery, salty food that is bad for me.

The only other weird thing is that I get very frustrated if the husband and I can’t figure out where we want to go when we go out to eat. I can’t decide because the possibilities are endless (Thai, Indian, Mexican, sushi,…) and that seems to frustrate me to no end. However, once we decide and I have a menu in front of me, I tend to decide on my meal almost immediately. Before I was pregnant I used to have a hard time deciding from a menu and I would often have regrets (I should have had the quesadilla).

Speaking of food, there’s a long list of things that I should not eat, including:

Alcohol – duh, and I’ve had no trouble remembering

Deli meats, cheeses, and unpasteurized items – I’ve eaten these quite a lot, not intentionally, but I am getting better; the risk here is Listeria; pregnant women are more likely to get Listeria, which can cause early labor among other things; I also need to wash my fruits and veggies properly

Sushi – this is a controversial one and if I do indulge in sushi, I tend to eat the cooked rolls; the risk here is the same to everyone – parasite infection; the only riskier bit for a pregnant woman is that major abdomen surgery (to remove the parasite along with part of the intestine, if necessary) would be bad

Anything but well-cooked meats – again I run the risk of infection of certain bacteria that would be bad for me and the baby

Caffeine – has been shown to increase the risk of miscarriage if consuming more than 200 mg/day; I am not a coffee drinker, so no problem there, but I do feel that I have been drinking a lot of caffeine in teas and coke; however, even on a bad day, I am not exceeding 200 mg of caffeine

Seafood – there’s complicated table of what seafood products are low in mercury and sustainable and the subset of the two is pretty small; even still, I shouldn’t have more than 2-3 servings per week; this is too bad because seafood is a great means for me to get protein and keep the fat/calorie count low

I have still been eating all the time. I am struggling a bit with my calcium intake. I get the extra calcium milk, OJ, and yogurt but it’s still a little tough to get 1200 mg/day. Tums are probably the greatest invention because one little tablet has 400 mg of calcium. The only bad thing is that I tend to forget to eat 1 or 2 a day and I think they are pretty gross – chalky, yuck!

Protein is also tough. I think I end up getting all the protein I need, but I have no craving for a big hunk of meat. The husband and I were trying to become vegetarians before I got pregnant but we decided to put that off so that I could get as much protein as possible. I love fish and seafood but I can’t have too much of that.

The final order my doctor gave me was to consume enough iron. I need to have either a large handful of spinach or a 6 oz lean meat serving every other day. This has not been much of a problem. Beef is the meat I struggle the least with (at least in it’s barest form) and I love fresh spinach.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just One of Them Days

Today is one of those days when sleep sounds so much better than eating. But it's been 3 hours since I've had breakfast and my stomach is grumbling. I'll have to figure out what to do about lunch. Blah!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Baby Bulge

I woke up on Monday morning and my belly bump was a little bigger than when I went to bed on Sunday night. I woke up this morning and it was significantly bigger. I had a couple of pairs of jeans that used to fit me since they were stretchy and sat low on the hips, but they don't fit anymore. I need to go shopping for more maternity clothes, or fatty clothes as I like to refer to them. Oh, and I can't suck in the belly any more. It's weird.

I am supposed to gain 20-25 lbs. during the pregnancy. The breakdown is: 3-5 lbs. in the first trimester, 1 lbs. every 2 weeks for weeks 13-36, and 1 lb./week for the last 4 weeks. Give or take a few lbs. of course. This means I should add about 300 calories to my diet every day, which is not a lot of food. I've basically been eating when I get hungry and my weight gain has been what I would like. I'm at the end of week 15 and I've probably gained about 5 lbs. It's actually kind of hard to really tell because I have a big fluctuation in weight between night and morning (about 3 lbs.). Since I tend not to drink a lot of water during the night, but I do pee at least twice during the night, it must all be water weight.

My mom was surprised that I'm not a lot heavier considering how much I eat. But I think what helps is that I have tried to stay pretty active. My doctor recommended that I get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. I go on walks or walk/runs, ride my bike to work, and just started pilates.

I used to have time in a day to come home from work, go to the gym, make dinner, and even work on my crafts or watch a movie. Now I barely have enough time to do a couple of those things. Everything I do just takes a lot longer - figuring out what to wear in the morning, unloading the dishwasher, standing in front of the stove barefoot and pregnant, it all takes so much time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Productive Weekend

I had a great week and weekend. My mom was in town all week and then my dad joined us for the weekend. It was great to have my mom around. I always had a workout partner and while we were at work she did stuff around the house. I think the kittens will miss her now that she’s back at home, especially Noodles. I am sure he enjoyed having a person around all day.

My dad arrived on Thursday night and so we spent most of Friday and Saturday doing stuff around the house. My mom and I tackled the boxes that we still had in the guest/computer room (and will soon also be a baby room) and the husband and my dad installed a new door and finished setting up the projector and screen. The new door replaced the old laundry room door. The project turned out to be a major pain since we got the cheapest door available at Home Depot and it didn’t have the hinge grooves marked off. Plus, the door frame wasn’t quite right so my dad and husband had to grind down part of the door. They also installed a kitty door in the laundry room door so that we can keep the door closed to keep the litter dust contained. We’ve been working on the kitty door with the cats, using food, treats, and catnip to coax them through the door.

It’s nice having the projector mounted on the ceiling and the screen on the wall. We finally have our coffee table back (which doubles as a dinner table). The projector looks really, really nice. Especially movies and pictures and computer stuff. TV doesn’t look that much better (something about HDTV not really being HD). We watched Casino Royale in blue-ray last night and it really looked amazing.

Has anyone been watching the Olympics? Particularly the swimming? We saw three amazing Olympic races over the weekend, and even the husband was impressed. The first was Michael Phelps’ incredible finish over the Serbian swimmer. When we first saw the finish, I seriously thought it was the Serb who had won the race. But the frame-by-frame footage actually showed Phelps touched ahead of the Serb. The other priceless image from that race was Phelps’ mom’s reaction. You have to check it out here. I get a kick out of her and his coach’s reactions. The other great swimming race we saw was the 400 m relay medley, that the US won to give Phelps his 8th gold medal.

So I am not totally biased towards Olympics swimming (I liked it even before Phelps made it cooler). I also like watching track and field events, especially the sprints. We watched the Jamaican Usain Bolt win the 100 m dash and break his own world record by 0.03 s. This may not seem like a lot, but it's significant in a 9 second race. The most incredible part about this was that Bolt actually started celebrating with 20 m to go in the race. While everyone else around him was going full speed, Bolt had stretched his arms out (creating some drag, I'm sure) and then pounding his chest in excitement. I can only wonder what the world record would have been had he gone full force for the entire 100 m. Bolt definitely left himself some room for improvement.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Must Be in the Water

So I know of at least 8 babies, including ours, that are due in January or February. I know of a baby on the way that is due in October and another baby that I have no idea when it’s due. Either spring is a good time for making babies or there’s something in the water. Drink at your own risk.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My New Favorite Phrases

“mommy brain” – it’s a justification for why I forget things. I haven’t used it myself but our secretary uses it often to justify why I forget things. I think there is some truth to the “mommy brain”. My body is too busy making a little person to remember why I walked into my boss’ office.

“but I’m pregnant” – it’s a good thing to say when the husband is giving me a hard time for not riding my bike to work (6+ miles each way, uphill both ways) or when I want to watch something on tv while he wants to channel surf. It doesn’t work 100% of the time but it’s pretty effective.

“it’s what the baby wants” – one of my favorites. This is usually 100% effective but I try not to overuse it. Unfortunately the husband now claims to also know what the baby wants and it’s often in contradiction to what I understood the baby to want (Indian food for dinner, going for a walk).

Friday, August 8, 2008

Good Week

Had a good week. I had enough energy to make it through the day on about half the days and nowadays that's a good thing. Fortunately I've switched to a more flexible schedule at work and so I can leave early if I need to.

They Olympics are starting. Yay! I love the Olympics. I love the concept of the Olympics - athletes from around the world coming together to compete in the sports they are passionate about. I don't like that the US wins a lot, I prefer to spread the happiness. But I do love all personal stories. My favorite sports are soccer, swimming, diving, track, and gymnastics.

I won free burritos again at Chipotle. Without even trying. They hold the contest every week, but the last time I went to Chipotle was about 3 weeks ago, and I didn't even drop a business card in the bowl. Nevertheless, my coworkers were pleased with the free food.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Big News, Big News!

So the husband and I have a secret that we're finally revealing...I'm pregnant!!! I am in week 13 so we decided it was safe to share the news. We've already seen a couple of ultra sounds of the baby and we've both seen and heard the heart beat. I've gained a couple of pounds and I've moved into maternity pants (they are so comfy!). So slowly but surely it's starting to feel more real.

I plan on relating the pregnancy adventure on my blog, leaving out the gory details, of course. I'll present more of a G-rated version and let you find out the other details for yourself (if you don't already know) when you or someone close to you gets pregnant.

So what are a few things I've discovered about pregnancy so far:

First and foremost, fatigue. It's like nothing I've ever experienced. Sure, I've been tired before and had to push myself to get through the day. But this is different. It's not really a feeling of sleepiness, just exhaustion, both physically and mentally. For the first time in my life I actually started taking naps during the day. I usually didn't sleep for very long, but being able to put my head down for at least a few minutes was very refreshing. It's been very weird. Even the husband was taken aback by my constant desire to sit on the couch and do nothing. Fortunately, that has mostly passed. I seriously woke up at week 12 and felt normal again. While I've had a few days where I still feel tired and need to rest in the middle of the day, I mostly have my energy back.

The need to eat when hunger strikes. I used to have days at work where I would be too busy to have breakfast and would have my first meal around lunch time. That happens no more. Now I usually eat a good sized snack every couple of hours (sometimes more often depending on the protein quality of the snack or mini-meal). If hunger strikes (my stomach growls), I have about 5-10 minutes to eat something, otherwise I start to loose it. Now I always carry around snacks and water with me, much to my husband's amusement.

Heartburn! I shiver at the thought. Around week 7 I discovered heart burn. It sucks! It's basically due to a relaxation of the ligaments and muscles in the body (don't quote me on that) that will allow my hips to expand for delivery (too much detail??) but that has other consequences including heartburn (and loose joints). So no more marinara sauce and spicy foods (two staples in my diet). I discovered I hated heartburn more than I loved spicy foods. The good news is that I think the heartburn is passing a bit. I've started introducing spicy foods back into my diet and so far so good.

So there you have it. Stay tuned for more in the coming months.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Tribute

I wanted to say how proud I am of my husband. Last week he rode his bike to and from work on 4 out of the 5 days. It's about 3.5 miles each way. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but from experience when I was trying to ride my bike to work from our old house (all 1.5 miles each way), it's often easier said than done. It's mostly a motivational factor, versus time or effort. If the husband drops me off at work and then takes the car himself, it usually takes him longer than if he were to just let me take the car and ride in to work. Usually by the time he gets off work and heads him, the afternoon wind has picked up so he'll have an extremely strong headwind for about 1 mile. But by that time he's pretty excited to be going home and that gives him energy. So the hardest part is getting up in the morning and convincing yourself to ride your bike to work.

Great job, honey!

Update: The husband just corrected me on the mileage. It's actually 4.1 miles each way. And it takes him between 20 and 25 minutes each way. I'm even more proud!