23 Week Update

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Well, well… What a week! We’re down to 116 days before this baby is coming out. Yes, it is crazy, I know! I’m honesty starting to experience a lot of anxiety over the birthing process and of course the lifestyle change. Thankfully for my husband and I it won’t be too different, we’re very blessed to have made adjustments already that will make his/her arrival all the smoother.

We still need to purchase a travel system and a couple of knick nacks. All can happen at a later time, but we’re planning on putting up a “mini” registry – for one item, haha. Aka the Paypal donation button. We wanted to do a gift-collaboration idea with anyone who was interested in helping us start out… And the purchase we need the most is the travel system, and being the most expensive, we thought this way friends and family could donate whatever they wanted, small or big.

I’ve begun an additional blog here on WordPress: http://knockedupandfit.wordpress.com! This site is mainly used to supporting others in their mental health, writing awareness articles and keeping a tab on my own bipolar disorder during pregnancy. Fitness/Eating well is something I’m very passionate about and I realized it would be more practical to have a separate blog.

So, if you like workout plans, weekly diet menus, and anything fitness/beauty style related, be sure to check it out. It’ll probably convert to a fit Mom blog postpartum, and I’d love to follow other mamas who love to exercise.

Symptoms:

Still pretty stagnant. Baby’s kicks are of course, stronger and more frequent. They also have their own sleeping schedule, which is awesome. Up at 7-8 PM till about 11, then they wind down but it can be off and on movement depending on what I’m doing. This morning I woke up with what I thought was vertigo, or second trimester morning sickness! Needless to say I freaked out a little and ended up phoning my midwife’s office… But it turned out all I needed was a good breakfast and to lie down.

The Crazies:

Bad depression this week. It lasted for a few days and just would not let up. I felt so worthless, uneducated, cruel, mean, bitter… And of course guilty. Guilt is my trigger. I can’t shake it sometimes, but as I am STILL learning after all these years, that is OK. When I have time to sort my mind through I realize things aren’t so bad and the room lights up and I become productive again. God is good.

Baby’s Development:

According to Babycenter.com, the baby will be used to any loud noises that happen already in my daily routine, such as clanking dishes or vacuuming. Which is really mind relieving. Also, their lungs are preparing for breath on the surface. Amazing, but stay in there, please, little baby! And they weigh a little OVER a pound now! Chunky… Just kidding.

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Before and After

Last night I took to writing longhand after experiencing what now seems to have been, basically, an adult temper tantrum (I couldn’t fall back asleep – woke up at 2:00 AM and started to lose it around 4:00AM… Yes, it really does make me flip out) I’ve begun to wonder just how much of bipolar disorder is merely a character flaw just like anything else – something I must continue to work through and recognize as a problem. People would probably disagree with me but sometimes I’m just not sure anymore. It is never something to lean on/manipulate with/or abuse… But I’ve been guilty of all three.

After reading what I wrote, it’s hard to believe any of it came out of me at all. The words are harsh but sad. I remember there were times I stopped my pen and asked myself, “Why are you even writing this?” Which is great — I believe that was conviction of the Holy Spirit. Illness is a drainer. Illness insomniatic. I struggled for hours last night feeling so ashamed for the stress I might have put on my child. To be completely frank, he/she is helping! I hate knowing I’m responsible for two beating hearts – so if when I cry and my heart races, I hate knowing I could be causing internal damage to something so incredibly precious to me. So in a nutshell, all the better motivation/reason to stay under control and just say NO. I never wanted my child to see me cry, but they’re feeling it in the womb.

I hope they don’t fall into this thing of mine. I hope they can look at me and see strength, maturity, patience and love.

As Creed so wonderfully puts it in “With Arms Wide Open”…


I hope he’s not like me, I hope he understands.

‘Pregorexia’?

It is often found that an eating disorder and mental illness go hand in hand. Depression can cause disordered eating, and vice versa. Depression can derive from being bipolar, just as being bipolar can derive from having depression. Living in a constant state of chaos/highs and lows can be crippling to one’s physical health. Severe moods swings will cause a pattern, at least they have for me. It goes a little something like this:

Girl feels fine.
Girl doesn’t feel fine.
Girl loses her control.
Girl is out of control.
Girl has an episode.
Girl comes down from an episode.
Girl feels resentment to herself for said episode.
Girl hates herself.
Girl wants control.
Girl abuses her body for the abuse she feels she deserves.

This doesn’t just have to be a resort to starvation or purging. Compulsive exercise, cutting, scarring, burning, self-criticism — they are ALL forms of self harm. Finding a coping method though physical pain is one of the most common forms of ‘feeling better’ that I’ve personally felt and witnessed around others. It’s dangerous, damaging, and begging for an unhappy ending.

I don’t want this post to be potentially triggering to any of my followers, so I’m going to stop the setup of the subject for this, right there. I plan on writing more on body image and eating disorders in general another time. This particular topic is mostly pregnancy related but because it is directly tied into anorexia, I felt the need to paint a base layer first for the reader before just diving in.

I recently came across a magazine I thought was inspiring. (disclaimer: I am not sponsoring nor am I being sponsored to mention the name). It’s called FitPregnancy. I picked it up at the grocery store one evening because I used to be very active right before I found out I was pregnant – I was a runner, a weight lifter and even a dancer when the mood struck me.

Back to the magazine – I loved most of the content. It was encouraging for beginners to start a healthy lifestyle in their pregnancy, but had workouts and ideas challenging enough for previous athletes to keep from getting bored. It didn’t condone eating more like most fitness magazines, and thank goodness it didn’t, seeing as it was for the pregnant woman. It did try to persuade the consumer to seek out only nutrient rich/dense foods that were whole and healthy, which is great!

However. Let me tell you what my biggest beef was with this magazine. It features celebrities. Pregnant ones. I have not been naive to the ways of staying thin in Hollywood pre and post baby. Victoria Beckham, Nicole Richie, Kate Middleton, and the wives of singers/producers/actors who aren’t quite famous but being noted for their “hot bods” and extremely “quick come backs”.

It’s true – eating for two is not eating two plates of food. This is just tempting a binge. The actual size of my baby’s stomach is probably the length of my pinkie finger. And in the first trimester, you don’t need to change your dietary habits at all. In fact, 200-300 calories is enough to feed your child in the womb from the second trimester on. Would you shove a plate full of dinner — your sized dinner — at your newborn and expect him to eat it? Of course not! It’s not necessary. But you do need to gain weight, it’s vital for your baby’s development and health. While your baby is not a parasite in your body, you ARE the host, and should be treating your most important guest to whatever they need. This means sucking it up and indulging in healthy fats, proteins, juices, you name it. Make the calories count, this baby depends on you.

Now here’s the kicker: if 200-300 calories is hardly a change in diet… But enough to gain some healthy padding, why are we seeing a frantic push to diet and exercise while you’re trying to build a baby? The weight gained from healthy eating is going to be present, yes, but it will drop right off after the delivery. If you want to see a breakdown of pregnancy weight gain, here you go:

Baby: 7-8 pounds
Placenta: 1-2 pounds
Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
Uterus: 2 pounds
Maternal breast tissue: 2 pounds
Maternal blood : 4 pounds
Fluids in maternal tissue: 4 pounds
Maternal fat and nutrient stores: 7 pounds

As you can see, it’s literally impossible to not gain when pregnant. The only permanent amount of weight you gain is from the fat stores you need to feed your baby. The rest is there for a reason — I mean look at that, an infant at birth averages 7 pounds!

This is what concerns me. If women stay the same weight pre pregnancy that they do at birth, this means they actually lost weight during their pregnancy, which is not okay. In fact, doing the math, this means they’re putting enough stress on their bodies and counting calories to lose some 20-25 pounds.. Which means they’re even thinner than they were when they started, technically.

Not. Okay. At. All.

This kind of behavior is spurred on by the media, pressure, and a desire to stay looking fabulous. Women are so convinced that they’ll lose the ‘sexiness’ they have to a baby without looking at the simple facts of pregnancy weight gain, they’re willing to follow these extreme regimens and put themselves and their child at risk.

My heart aches for these pregnant celebrities. I hope they realize what they’re doing. It’s saddening, and scary, and not at all helpful to the women that idolize them. It can also be triggering for people with body image issues (and obviously those celebs probably have issues too) and unrealistic to maintain… and so dangerous to the baby.

So while I loved the magazine, I had to leave it there simply because they featured these women. Too much of a temptation for someone with a previous eating disorder. Thinking strong, not skinny, has been always been a very healing phrase for me.

I hope most of this entry made sense. I understand that some of my thoughts might be hard to decipher, but I hope I got my point across. You might even consider this as a rant – it’s been one of those days!

22 Week Update

22 Week Bump!

I’ve been wondering if the baby inside me has a sick pleasure for poking their big toe into my belly button from the inside.

Seriously. ;D

Anybody else have squeamish feelings about being kicked? This kid is awesome, but my belly button is a ticklish spot, so whenever they nudge me I keep picturing this cackling little newborn twisting their piggies into my belly wall. Yup, this child is definitely my husband’s, hehe.

But don’t get me wrong, at all — it has been by far my favorite aspect of pregnancy, and blows my mind everyday.

So let’s hop to it! Here’s the breakdown of week 22, for me:

Symptoms

As usual… Not a whole lot. I’m pretty sure I’m losing energy much faster than before (unlike the textbooks, I was a rocket ship in the first trimester – apparently you’re supposed to be tired?) and I’ve found that my lower abdomen gets twinges if I haven’t sat long enough or by over doing it… So I’m trying to keep relaxed, even with my daily routine of housework an exercise.

The Crazies

This week has been moderately silent in terms of temperament shifts. No crying, except for one time and it was totally overly dramatic. Obsessive compulsive thoughts have been at a low. I try to distract myself vigorously with cleaning/list making if I start doing a ritual (sounds funny, but it’s horribly exausting… Look it up if you aren’t familiar with OCD) but that hasn’t happened too much this week… Which is great!

Baby’s Development

Apparently my little bubbie is 11 in inches long and a total pound… Whoo hoo! They can still hear us, and from what I’ve seen/read they can swallow fluid and touch their face (saw this in our ultrasound… Very darling). Their skin is getting thicker and fat is starting to lay down! Which is awesome, because I certainly don’t want a skinny baby. I’ve discovered that he/she prefers to lay on the left side of my uterus — cue an “AHA! I see you, baby” moment in the bathtub — and I just have to tell you, that is WEIRD. We really are wonderfully made, I mean come on, I could see LIFE laying inside of me from the OUTSIDE! Coolio.

If you’ve been pregnant, please share your fondest memory of Week 22 below — or a second trimester memory.