Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What is Normal Anyway?

Monday mid-morning, I got out for a walk on the powerlines while Snowman ran. He doubled back and walked the last 1/2 mile with me, which was nice. After a quick lunch, we headed to Portland for ultrasound #7 in 'the little lady' series. Seriously, that is just silly! We know much too much about fundal measurements, etc. Aie. Anyway, all went well and after the tech had done her part and gotten all the measurements and pictures necessary, the doctor came in for about 15 seconds - just enough time to say to us, "We've deemed you normal. We've concluded you just make genetically small babies." Although the conclusion is what Snowman and I have been thinking all along, it certainly was nice to hear it from the doctor! She is measuring in at 5 pounds 13 ounces, and is in the 15% percentile. And of course, she is still in the breech position, with her head jammed up against my right rib. Soooo comfy! :-) As for me being normal, I don't know about that, but hey, I'll take it...

During our day out and about, we also picked up some new road shoes for me. Boy, are they white and crisp looking! The ones I've been wearing for the past 300 miles look dark and dingy compared to these new things. And oh, so cushiony! I do love a new pair of running shoes. It seemed a little silly to be buying new running shoes when I am not running at the moment, but as Snowman says, won't you feel better when the time comes to run again if you have new shoes to put on?! There is something about getting out in new shoes that just makes a girl happy :-) So, while this pair got broken in this morning during my walk, and will likely get more walking miles than running miles over the next few months, I am happy to have them!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

On a Break

Fall is officially here! It was 39 degrees at 7:45 am this morning. The air was crisp, there was frost on the ground, and the maples leaves are beginning to turn. I put on tights for the first time. Luckily I still have an old, stretched out pair that fit, even with my 37 week belly :-)

I headed across the street for a walk. As I walked along, I thought about running. I've been running since high school. I can't think of too many times where I haven't been running. Yes, there have been breaks here and there, but I've never been seriously injured, and unlike Snowman and running, who had a bit of a falling out after college, I never stopped running once I started. I was thinking of all the places I've run. Of all the friends I've run with. How I have relied on running to keep me sane. To keep me healthy. To empty my mind. I've run through the winding streets of Nantes, France in the early morning hours. The Commons a million times over. Flow miles at Wolfe's Neck with the cross country team. On the trails. In the mountains. On the roads. On the snow. Through the mud. In the heat. Alone, with Snowman, with the Trail Monsters. In the 100m hurdles. The 10k. Road races with a zillion people. Along the edge of Somes Sound in the MDI Marathon. The rolling pastures of Pineland, and the rocky single track of Bradbury. Sure, I haven't always been fast. Or run far. I've had good days and bad, but I'm always glad to be out there. The longest stretch of no running was in 2005 when we were hiking the AT for four months. I think I was back to running within 3 days after we stopped, as this body of mine just needs to and wants to move!

So, it is with great regret that I admit that running and I are now on a short break. The mind wants to run. But the body does not. My joints/ligaments are loosening. My groin has been hurting after my runs. As has my right shin, likely due to the new gait I've taken on in the past month or so as my belly expands. And the belly, well, it is just feeling heavy and stretched to the limit. These things are putting a bit of a damper on the whole running thing. I had hoped to be able to run right through to the end. But I did manage to run through 36 weeks of pregnancy, and of that I am happy and proud. Anyway, walking has now replaced running. It is not the same, but it gets me out moving and is much gentler on the body at this point.

If I do end up having the c-section that is now scheduled for 9:30am on October 9th, I know I will have a mandatory 6 week hiatus from running as I heal. And even if I do not have the c-section, I will have to take some time off to recover. So, you likely won't be reading any running-related blogs in the next 8 weeks. But you can bet I'll be counting down the days (November 21st if it's a c-section) until I can run again! :-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Turn Baby Turn

37 weeks today. 3 weeks to go. Or not. It appears that the little lady has other plans. She has been breech since the ultrasound I had back in August. She was still breech today. Frank breech, in fact. Her head is right up in my right rib. She appears to be very comfy in this position. Like 4 or 5% of other babies out there, she is in the wrong position at this late stage of the game. There is still a chance she might turn. But it is unlikely, especially given that my amniotic fluid levels are relatively low. The doctor won't try a version because she is small and because of the fluid levels. This leaves me with the more holistic options for trying to turn her. Playing music to the lower part of the uterus in an effort to lure her toward the tunes (how odd is that?!). Pelvic tilt. Cold compress on the top of the uterus and warm compress at the bottom. Among others. So, odd positions and mesmerizing music, here we come!

But in case she doesn't turn, I am being scheduled for a c-section. According to the doctor, it will likely be on October 9th. Someone will be calling me within a week to confirm the date, time and details. So perhaps I will have a set end date to this after all! Although honestly, c-section was at the bottom of my wish list for this pregnancy. Now, I have had time to think about it, and to mentally try to prepare for this possibility, but I am still a bit scared. Of the surgery. Of the recovery. Of the possible complications. But I realize that a typical delivery has its own trials. Its own recovery period and possible complications. In my dreams, the little lady would come in one push and that would be that. But how likely is that? :-) And in the end, really, the most important thing here is that the little lady comes out healthy. So, if it is by c-section that she arrives, so be it. I'll let you know!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Apples, Cider Donuts and a little running...

This morning, my sister Kristen and 3 1/2 year old niece Morgan came up to Topsham, and the three of us went apple picking at Rocky Ridge Orchard just a few miles up the road. It was a gorgeous Indian Summer day, with bright blue skies and warm temps. We picked up a wagon and headed out into the PYO orchard, where Morgan had fun wandering under the low trees, picking up fallen apples and grabbing a few off the low-lying branches. Before we left with our share of apples, we stopped in the bakery and picked up some yummy cider donuts. Can't pass those up!

When we got back home, Morgan had fun playing with Gigi, while Ronnie hid in terror upstairs (Morgan is seriously cute, but seriously loud!), and Snowman made us grilled cheese for lunch. After Kristen and Morgan headed home, Snowman and I went over to the Commons for a run. I tried to convince Snowman that he should go for his own run while I shuffled along on my two-mile jaunt, but he would have none of it. So, I led the way, and he very patiently shuffled along beside me. We chatted away as we ran along, and it was nice to spend a little time in the woods together, something we haven't had the opportunity to do much of recently. It was a good, if warm, run, and I was happy to have a running partner for the day :-) Don't I have a good husband?!

Here a few photos from the apple picking, as well as a cute shot of Ronnie and Gigi waking up after being all curled up together on one of our sleeping bags yesterday afternoon. It's nice to see them getting along (well, at least some of the time!!).

Rocky Ridge Orchard

Morgan enjoying a wagon ride

In the orchard

Waking up from a nap, all curled up together

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Run and Walk

Yesterday I got up and out the door at 6:45 for a run before Snowman left for work. It felt and looked like fall. The broken clouds were low in the sky, with the pink and oranges of the rising sun, creating a beautiful light on the horizon as I crested the small hill on the powerlines by the high school. The low light was hitting the purple asters and goldenrod along the lines, their summer colors contrasting with the blueberry bushes that are beginning to be tinged with red. It was nice to be out after three days of doing nothing.

This morning, I took a walk instead of a run, as Snowman was away and wasn't too keen about me running alone while he was gone. It was 45 degrees when I headed out the door. Crisp and cool. Perfect fall weather. I walked the short loop by the high school and middle school across the street. I think that running, however, is more comfortable than walking! Or perhaps it's just because I'm used to running? Regardless, I am happy to still be able to move comfortably at this stage in the game, and hope to get out for one more run on Saturday to close out the week.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Baby, Baby, Baby

Saturday we got up bright and early to go over to Midcoast Hospital for a birth class. Snowman was less than enthusiastic, but was at least looking forward to the tour of the maternity area. The class started off slowly, but, I think it was worthwhile. It was nice to get a tour of the maternity floor, and to get an overview of medicine options, talk more about the stages of labor and what happens with a C-section, etc. However, all of this could have been accomplished in 3 hours instead of 5, which would have made it much less painful for all involved! The rest of the afternoon was spent running a few errands, etc, and then getting ready for Sunday's Bradbury Bruiser race.

We got a bit of a late start on Sunday, but still managed to make it over to Bradbury in plenty of time for me to help with registration and to chat with people as they were getting their numbers. It was a bit overcast, but the skies brightened up as the morning progressed, and it was a bit warm and humid. After the racers took off, I hung out with Jamie, Jerry and Rick, chatting away until it was time to get on with the timing duties. The winner's time was smoking fast, and the field got pretty spread out over the 12 mile course, so luckily the timing was relatively easy. All the Trail Monsters turned out great races, although Snowman took a bit of a beating out on the course and was dragging as he crossed the finish. Poor guy. Still, I'm glad he toughed it out and finished as best he could. As usual, Ian put on a great race, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves out there (or as much as one can when running the twisty turny hell of the 'O' trail in the last 2 miles of the race!).

This morning I had a doctor's appointment at 9:15. We did not get home until 2:30. Ugh. I was once again measuring small, so I got sent down for an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed the little lady looking healthy - practicing breathing, good heart rate, moving - but indicated that my amniotic fluid was a bit low and that she was only measuring in the 4th percentile for weight. Last month, she was in the 23rd percentile. Not good. But she was also in a bit of a strange position, so this could have had an affect on the measurements. Regardless, this meant we headed upstairs for a non-stress test, to test the baby's heart in response to its movement, and to help determine whether she was getting enough oxygen. Things were looking good, but the doctor came in and told us that she was worried about how small the baby was measuring and had made us an appointment for a more specialized ultrasound down at Maine Medical with a high risk OB/GYN for 1:00. Basically, although the little lady was looking healthy and could just be a small but healthy baby, the fear was that the placenta might not be functioning correctly or that something else was wrong. Basically, the 4th percentile made her worry. So, off to Portland we went. There, we had ultrasound #2 for the day.

Luckily, this more sophisticated/specialized ultrasound determined my amniotic fluid to be a bit higher, and her weight to be a bit higher, putting her in the 17th percentile. Still small, but not small enough for major worry. Again, she was practicing breathing, which the tech said indicated a contented, non-stressed baby, moving, heart rate was good, and the blood going from the placenta to the baby was moving well, so that meant no issues there. Phew! This does mean, of course, that I am being more closely monitored over the next few weeks with more ultrasounds already scheduled to ensure she's OK, but at least for the time being, all is good with the world, and we're just on track for having a small, but healthy, little lady! But man, it was a stressful morning!! I am definitely having some ice cream tonight :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009


It was 45 degrees this morning when I stepped outside for my 2-mile shuffle. Ah, fall! I love this time of year. The air is crisp, the smell of turning leaves and apples is in the air, it is cool at night and still warm during the day. Perfect for running and hiking.

I feel like my last posts have been a bit of the complaining nature, and just want to state for the record that I really am super excited to meet the little lady, and I do know that I have been lucky in this pregnancy so far! But part of me still yearns to be out on the trails and enjoying this weather in ways I just cannot at this particular moment. Ah well, she will be here soon, and then we will be off on lots of other exciting adventures ;-) And next year's hiking will be with Snowman acting as sherpa with the little lady in this backpack (Thanks Meg and Chris!). Very exiting!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


People keep telling me to get as much sleep as I can before it's too late. I haven't gotten a lot of crazy advice, but this one keeps cropping up. And it seems sound. The problem is that although I would love to sleep, I am not sleeping well. Perhaps this is the body's way of preparing us soon-to-be-mothers for the nighttime feedings. I am not supposed to sleep on my back. The left side is best. So, I start out on my left side. Then my arm falls asleep. I wake up. I clumsily roll over. I hear a noise outside. I'm restless. I have to pee. I get up and go to the bathroom, returning to snuggle down on my right side under the covers. I am hot. I kick the covers off. I finally fall asleep again, only to awaken to my right arm being numb, and my hip hurting. I lay on my back for a minute, to just stretch out a bit. The baby shifts, digging into my rib. I sigh and roll back onto my left side. I wake up 45 minutes later and have to pee. I slowly roll out of bed and pad to the bathroom. Upon my return, Ronnie wakes up. He comes up to lick my face, in an attempt to get me to go downstairs and feed him. I ignore him. He purrs, and licks my forehead. I give in, and pad downstairs to feed him. I come back up and lie down. It's getting light out. The alarm will go off soon. I fall asleep for 5 minutes, and then it is, once again, time to get up.

At 35 weeks today, these are my nights. Don't they sound restful?

Despite this, I have managed to get up and out for my 2-mile "run" two days in a row. I know I am lucky to still be able to get out on these beautiful mornings, but seriously, I am damn slow, and my body feels heavy. Ah well. Only 5 weeks left. Or is it 3? Or 6? :-)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fun Weekend

It was a chock-full long weekend here in the Team Snowplug household! Saturday morning I got out for my now 'normal' 2-mile run on the powerlines before work. Work was busy as we had an afternoon reception. Snowman and his parents made the trip up to Wiscasset for a bit of wine & cheese, and some art buying (for them! Our walls are officially full!!), before we had a yummy dinner at Scarlet Begonia's, complete with dessert at Gelato Fiasco.

Sunday dawned beautiful, and after a lazy morning, we headed to Five Islands Lobster Company for lunch on the dock in the sun. Irene got her lobster and steamers, while the rest of us partook in some good old fashioned fried food. We all enjoyed the spot. Gorgeous!

Irene and her lobster

Five Islands view

Reid State Park was our next destination, where we walked along the beach in an attempt to work off at least some of our lunch :-) A perfect Maine afternoon!

Yesterday, after a good breakfast at Broadway Deli, Snowman and I hit Babies 'R Us for a few more "necessary" baby items. Amazing how much stuff a baby seems to need! And we didn't even go crazy. Aie. We're gonna need a bigger boat... Then we met up with Irene & Dana for the final Sea Dogs game for the season. It was yet another wonderful September day with blue skies, warm sun and a bit of breeze. The game was a lot of fun! We laughed at the antics of Slugger, the mascot, had some food and beer, watched all the kids racing around, and enjoyed the atmosphere. It helped that the Sea Dogs won too :-)

I couldn't resist the ice cream in the Sea Dogs helmet!

My view of the game :-)

Definitely a fun weekend!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Taper

I had a nice slow 2-mile shuffle on the powerlines this morning. It was the perfect morning for a run. Sunny, cool and crisp. I wanted to be able to go on forever. To go fast. To just go. Instead, I turned myself around at the mile mark, left with the feeling that I'm in the midst of a bizarre taper for an endurance event, an ultra with no exact date. 34 weeks down. 6 to go. Or maybe it's 4. Or 7. Aie. It's enough to drive someone who likes schedules like I do crazy!

And yet, the taper goes on. The finish line is close, and yet so far away. All sorts of pre-race thoughts and jitters run through my head. I wonder if I can make it through. And yet, I trust that my body will do what it's meant to do. I've done all I can in the past months to ensure the best possible outcome. Yet I feel anxious. Scared of the unknown. And all the while, hopeful. Excited. I know my pacer will be with me in the end and will help me make it through. The rest of the crew is in the wings, ready to arrive and help and cheer when the time is right. I am working on my list of what needs to go in my drop bag. I hope I haven't forgotten anything important in my preparations.

I realize I've been lucky throughout this whole journey overall. I know that once this race is finished, I will be tired, but elated. I can't wait to get to that point, to make all the aches and pains and fatigue worth while. There is no turning back now, and I wouldn't want to even if I could. I just wish that time was here now. I am ready. But I know that the little lady isn't ready quite yet. She needs a few more weeks to be "fully cooked," as the pediatrician called it. And although realistically, I know things will happen when they happen and I shouldn't get my hopes up for an early delivery, I'd be plenty happy with October 1st... So if anyone has an "in" with the powers that be, and can request a date for this event, that would be great :-)