Meeting Our Midwife & 12/13 Weeks

We met our midwife last week for my 12 week appointment and it was so great to meet her in person! I had contacted her back when we first started trying for Baby #2 in October 2013 and she was so helpful to answer my questions, even if it was over Facebook messaging. (See, there are a few good things about Facebook!)

One of my biggest concerns was that she wouldn't work with us since E was born at 35 weeks. Because he was born without any complications, having a homebirth is an option for us this time around. He is our miracle baby! The doctors were shocked that our "preemie" would score a 9/9 on his Apgars. All the glory goes to God!

Why We Chose a Homebirth This Time

  • It's a better fit for me personally. Homebirths are not for everyone and I totally understand that! I'm most comfortable with having our baby at home in a more relaxed environment.
  • Water birth is an option. This wasn't a possibility in the hospital where we had E and I was really hoping for a water birth. Even sitting in the tub at home helped immensely with the contractions!
  • Our midwife is there for support. She is a great listener and we are on the same page with our faith, thoughts on natural birth and doing our best for this baby. This is a huge improvement from pregnancy #1! If this baby does decide to come early, she will accompany us to the hospital, too. Even early in this pregnancy, the extra support has made such a difference. 
  • Less push of interventions. The hospital did respect my decision to have a natural birth with E, but my doctor and nurse were a bit skeptical of our decision. They offered a couple more times just in case I changed my mind. In our hospital, it was the norm to have interventions but homebirths are focused on a more natural pain management/birthing approach.
  • We can take our time. If labor goes longer than it did with E, it's okay! As long as I am progressing, we can take our time and not be on a "deadline" to have baby. Despite being 5 weeks "ahead of schedule" with E (and we didn't make it to the hospital until I was 8 cm dilated!), our doctor still wanted to hurry the birth along.
Our midwife gave me "The Christian Childbirth Handbook" last week and it has proven to be an awesome read so far. The book covers a wide range of topics from God's design for pregnancy and childbirth, nutrition and exercise recommendations, birth planning, pain coping strategies, information on labor options, caring for your newborn and so much more information.
"Only God creates, but He has chosen you to co-create another human being with Him. In essence for nine months you and your baby are one body. Wow, what a miracle you are chosen by God for, sharing this miracle of creation with Him." Jan Tritten, founder and editor of Midwifery Today.

Want more information on natural childbirth? Check out the Business of Being Born (you can even find the whole video on Youtube)!

Pregnancy Week 12/13: Baby #2

Cravings: I could eat egg salad on toast every day and popcorn maybe every other day.

Aversions: The thought of cooking certain foods makes me nauseous.

Eating: Eating small meals and snacks throughout the day.

I'm Feeling: My energy level was on the rebound but I've been on a streak of a couple sick days again! And here I thought I was in the clear.

Sleep: I'm doing my best to wake up early for time in prayer and then to run before the family is up. E has been having a hard time with teething so I've been up with him at night. Guess I'm just practicing for having a newborn again!

Physical Changes: My belly is growing like crazy. Our midwife pointed out that my uterus is already up to my belly button! Wow... things are moving so much faster this time around. Something I noticed yesterday is that my blushing has returned. I blush pretty easily anyways, but when I'm pregnant I blush over everything! It's kind of embarrassing sometimes!

Weight: Up 4 lbs. from pre-pregnancy weight.

My Prayer for Baby: "Lord, thank You for this Baby and the joy of sharing our news with family and friends. Guide Baby's development as his/her digestive system is developing this week. I pray that our children are protected against allergies. Give our children compassionate hearts and a Christ-like attitude towards family and everyone they meet. Thank You for the blessing of being a mom to E and our little one #2 and for giving me such a supportive husband! Amen."
When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. MATTHEW 9:36
Last Week's Workouts:
Monday: 3.15 miles on the treadmill, 9:31/mile average.
Tuesday: Gina Aliotti Pregnancy Circuit Training: Intermediate x 3.
Wednesday: 3.25 miles in the wind/snow with the dog, 10:00/mile average.
Thursday: Off. Zero energy, sick stomach and a big ole headache.
Friday: 3.1 miles on the treadmill, 9:40/mile average, plus strength training.
Saturday: 4.13 miles outside with Saul (dog), 9:41/mile average.
Total Mileage: 13.63 miles

Have you seen the movie, "Business of Being Born"?
What are your plans for Thanksgiving?!

Linking up at Mommy Moments.

Why Winter Is Awesome

Winter gets really long in these parts and can be a drag some days. For this week's Fitness Friday, here are a few positive points on this season that takes up half of our year!

5 Things That Make Winter Awesome

1. Running in the Snow.
(Notice I didn't include wind or sub-zero temps in that subhead) Peaceful, snowy mornings are actually quite beautiful. The unplowed roads even have an extra leg-strengthening effect. On the days I can force myself outside in the early morning, the dog and I both get a good run in. He needs his exercise, too!

I wear a reflective vest; Saul has reflective eye balls.

2. Seasonal Flavors.
E and I shared a delicious pumpkin smoothie this week. SO GOOD plus it's on the healthy side. Basically anything pumpkin-flavored sounds wonderful right now.Can't wait for the Thanksgiving treats next week!

Our pumpkin-y smoothie mess.

3. Family Time.
We love our families - both the Minnesotans and the Californians. It gets even better because our families also love food! Check out that buffet!?

My sis-in-law displaying the showcase of foods at last year's Christmas lunch.

4. Planning Future Races.
Thinking out goals for next year's running and racing keeps the winter moving along. My "races" scheduled for 2015 are Baby #2 being born around June 6th and maybe a half marathon in the fall.

Sorry Fargo, Lord-willing, I will be super pregnant and probably not running that far in early May!

Maybe 2016?

5. Cozying Up Indoors.
Cold weather means that when we actually do make it outside, E is exhausted by the time we get back in and we both need to warm up! In theory, this should mean more cuddle time. Then again, he is a toddler and far too busy for mommy cuddles most of the day.

This is what happens when he tries to skip naptime. 

What is your favorite part of winter?
Any races planned for 2015?

Linking up at Fitness Friday.

Battling Fears in Pregnancy + 11 Week Update

My guess is that about 99.9% of pregnant women battle some sort of fear(s) during their pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a scary time because you can do all the "right" things yet there are so many factors out of your control. Week 12 is coming up soon and this is the time when many announce their pregnancy due to the decreased risk of miscarriage.

Though I feel more peace in knowing that the second trimester is near, fears still come up in my mind. In fact, I know Satan whispers lies to me about what could happen and he does his best to distract me from enjoying this pregnancy.

Here are a few fears Satan throws my way...
  • What if we lose our baby later in the pregnancy?
  • What if baby has developmental issues?
  • What if baby arrives premature? (this is one that comes up often for me)
  • What if I have a horrible delivery?
  • What if I gain a ridiculously huge amount of weight this time?

Fears are going to come up, it's just a part of life. What I remind myself is that fear is not from God. No matter what happens, God is there and He will get our family through the good and the bad (He always has!).
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 TIMOTHY 1:7 (NLT)
When a fear or anxious knot in your stomach shows up, see it as a prompt to pray. I know those "what if's" will keep coming up, but now I pray and give my worries to God before they have a chance to drag me down. God does care about the big and the little worries in our lives. I find peace in knowing that He loves my children and my husband even more than I do! Don't allow fear to keep you from enjoying this moment of your life with the people around you!
"Fear is stopping us from the things we are meant to be doing, the things God means for us to accomplish." The Chase Study by Jennie Allen

Pregnancy Week 11: Baby #2

You can hardly see a bump in that coat! I'm wearing my Boston coat out running as much as I can because it doesn't fit when I'm a.) pregnant or b.) breastfeeding.

Cravings: Nothing in particular this week.

Aversions: Cooking venison. That smell was just not good!

Eating: Eating little meals or snacks throughout the day. Making healthy choices (most of the time) when I do snack!

I'm Feeling: Tired, but much better.

Sleep: I can do without the power nap during the day now, but I'm usually pretty wiped by 9 pm.

Physical Changes: The belly has definitely popped. I bought some yoga pants that look like dress pants at JC Penney's last week and those are wonderful. Wearing my usual button pants puts an annoying amount of pressure on my uterus. I'm totally okay with yoga pants and my maternity jeans!

Weight: Up 4 lbs. from pre-pregnancy weight.

My Prayer for Baby: "Lord, thank You for giving me strength to get things done throughout the day even when I am lacking in energy. Guide baby's developing tooth buds and sense of smell this week! I pray that our children will be blessed with good, healthy teeth. Thank You for baby's amazing developments this week and for E's developments, too. Give me peace with all of the changes going on right now and comfort in know that You love my baby and are guiding the development according to Your plans. Amen."
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
in You I trust, O my God. PSALM 25:1-2
Last Week's Workouts:
Monday: 3.1 miles on the treadmill, 9:40/mile average.
Tuesday: Full body AMRAP from Fit N' Cookies.
Wednesday: 3.18 on the treadmill, 9:26/mile average.
Thursday: Upper body and lower body circuits from Ctollerun.
Friday: 3.1 miles on the treadmill, 9:40/mile average.
Saturday: 4 miles outside with Leo, 9:41/mile average.
Total Mileage: 13.38 miles
This Saturday, Leo and I went on a "date run" and we warmed up with some "prancercising" (if you don't know what that is, you need to watch this video!).

With the windy 10°F temps, a solid warm-up of prancercising was much needed. Notice our flashy orange outfits - we're still in peak hunting season here, wouldn't want to be mistaken for a deer!

Leo is possibly the best prancersicer I've ever seen...

What pregnancy fears have you/did you struggle with? - Baby arriving prematurely.
Have you ever tried prancercising?! - I spent most of my childhood doing that!

Linking up at Mommy Moments.

Friday Favorites - 11/14

It's been feeling like winter this week! I woke up this morning and was contemplating going out for a run with the dog. The temp was at 5°F above and I opted for the treadmill - I'm just not ready for cold running yet! E and I made it outside to play for only 15 minutes this week on one of the "warmer" days (+20°F).

Hope you are staying warm! Here are my favorites for this Fitness Friday...

5 Blessings This Week

Snow. I really enjoy winter for the first few months. It's around March or April that I really get sick of the snow and cold! As for now, thank God for snow! It's beautiful and E looks like a cute little snowman when he's all bundled up :)

Determining My Value. In my Bible study we are going through a book called "Chase" by Jennie Allen and it teaches on chasing after the heart of God. We talk about all that we are chasing in this world that doesn't satisfy because nothing is more satisfying than God.

This paragraph is such a freeing truth. God gives us His value - it's not something we can earn! My worth isn't found in a high "self-esteem", in how many races I run, or my job. It's all God and I'm thankful for that because He is solid and unchanging.

The Chase Study

Snail Mail (That Isn't a Bill!). This week I got a package from the Wild Hog Half Marathon that I ran back in September. They sent me a coaster for placing in the top of my age group!

Problem is, it was a 1st place coaster and I finished 3rd. I emailed the race director so we could send it to the rightful owner. They said they sent it to me because the 1st and 2nd place women already had coasters for placing in the female division.

A sympathy prize? I'll take it! I edited the placing with a Sharpie and was thankful I didn't have to re-mail it anywhere (no thanks, $2.00 postage). Getting that coaster in the mail was encouraging because, despite not being in the huge pregnancy stages, I feel like I'm running at a snail's pace these days. The nausea has mostly disappeared but my energy level is still tanked.

Our Announcement. I'm almost done with our Christmas card design for this year and designed a quick image to announce Baby #2, too! We haven't shared this pregnancy with "Facebook-land" yet though most of our friends and family already know. It's fun to make a cute picture involving Mr. E! As I'm coming up on week 12 of the pregnancy, next week we're sharing this:

Mr. E's last Christmas as an only child!

Winter Baking. Cold weather means it's time to bake more. A warm oven does make the house feel a bit more cozy! These peanut butter cookies are quick to make and a favorite in our house!

Easiest-Ever Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup quick oats

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix ingredients in medium bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then remove from cookie sheet while still warm.

5 Steps to Something Amazing

This pin is definitely worth sharing. I'm making chocolate peanut butter sandwiches for Christmas! Quick steps and only a few ingredients - just my style.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwiches
View pin here.

How do you maintain sanity through the winter months?
Do you have any baking planned for Thanksgiving or Christmas?

Linking up at Fitness Friday.

Baby #2: 10 Weeks

This weekend is deer hunting opener in our part of the country so I chose to hit the treadmill instead of running outside with the stroller. You never know where a stray bullet could end up and I'm super cautious when little man is with me! Even though it's National Stroller Running Day, I opted for the treadmill this morning.

My re-organized "home gym". 

I usually just listen to music while running but decided to get crazy today and watch a grown-up movie. I watched "Run for Your Life", the story of Fred Lebow (founder of the NYC Marathon), for approximately one mile and then little man woke up. After he woke up, the movie choice changed from running-related to Veggie Tales Sweet Pea Beauty. Give E his milk, a breakfast muffin and some Veggie Tales and he's as content as could be.

Yesterday I made some banana carrot spice breakfast muffins for the guys because I knew I wouldn't want to wake up early to make them pre-hunting breakfast. Wendy at New Moms Talk sent me this recipe and it was easily adaptable to whatever special ingredients you have in the house. I added 2 bananas, 1 cup shredded carrot, one cup oats, 1 tsp. nutmeg and 1 tsp. cinnamon to the recipe.

Banana Carrot Spice Muffins

I'm usually not too pumped about deer hunting because it means Leo is gone again, but today has been a great day. Lots of pancakes with a wonderful family this morning, girls' time at a local craft show, and Leo even shot a 5-point buck this afternoon! I hope that means he's done hunting now for the year :)

Pregnancy Week 10: Baby #2

Cravings: Mott's fruit snacks, breaded chicken, avocado, toast, eggs.

Aversions: I'm finally able to enjoy a cup of coffee again as long as it includes creamer or half n' half. Nothing specific is making me sick this week!

Eating: Hungry, as usual. Eating small meals and snacking is my approach lately. A sandwich of chicken, avocado and spinach on whole wheat toast has been my absolute favorite! I could eat that for lunch every day...

The best sandwich ever.

I'm Feeling: Tired, but the nausea is gone! I feel so much more relaxed with this pregnancy. I haven't had any negative comments related to pregnancy this time around - opposite from pregnancy #1! I got so much negative advice with E's pregnancy. The "just you wait 'til" comments were really discouraging and totally unhelpful!

Sleep: Sometimes I still fall asleep while E is napping in the afternoon. I've been waking up to run at 5:15/5:30 some mornings but I'm not able to do that consistently without being totally exhausted by the end of the day. 6:00 am is the time for me.

Physical Changes: Belly is growing gradually and I can tell my body is gearing up for breastfeeding again (already?!).

Weight: Up 2 lbs. from pre-pregnancy weight.

My Prayer for Baby: "Lord, I thank you for our children and the gift of motherhood. I pray for Baby's development this week and that you bless our children with the ability to memorize Your Word. I pray that they will keep it close to their heart all of their lives. When I feel tempted to worry about this pregnancy and Baby's development, guide me back to Your Word and prayer. Amen."
I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. PSALM 119:11
Last Week's Workouts:
Monday: 3.32 windy miles with the jogging stroller and the dog.
Tuesday: CrossFit At-Home Workout #17 from Fit N' Well Mommy.
Wednesday: 3.15 on the treadmill.
Thursday: Upper body and lower body circuits from Ctollerun.
Friday: 3.16 miles on the treadmill.
Saturday: 4.24 miles on the treadmill.
Total Mileage: 13.87
E was cruisin' with some babes at Pop-In & Playtime on Friday. That playtime is really my favorite part of Fridays! Mom gets to drink coffee (plus pumpkin spice creamer!) and visit while E runs off to play with a million toys (for about 2 seconds per toy).

Have you taken on any baking projects this week? - Muffins!
Are you a hunting fanatic? - Leo is, I just cook/eat whatever he brings home.

Linking up at Mommy Moments.

National Stroller Running Day: BOB Ironman Review

This Saturday is the first ever National Stroller Running Day! Thank you to Mom's Little Running Buddy and Run Stroller Run for organizing this event.

To celebrate, I'm heading out with little man in our BOB Ironman for a few miles in this cold and windy fall weather! The jogging stroller truly is a running mom's best friend.
Enter the #StrollerRun14 giveaway here!

We bought our stroller on the Black Friday sale before E was born in Spring 2013 and I really should have kept track of the mileage on this baby. (Call me crazy, but this was our first baby-related purchase.)

This stroller has logged many miles through snow, rain, wind and even the occasional sunny day!

It's carried little man through two 5k's and a 10k. He even won two of the races! When running with a stroller, the baby always wins since he crosses the finish line first :)

The BOB Ironman has been keeping E happy since he was just a little guy.

And it still manages to put him to sleep even as a toddler.

My Review of the BOB Ironman

I have been using our BOB Ironman jogging stroller for the last 18 months and have absolutely nothing negative to say about it! After putting on considerable miles, the stroller is still working just as well as it did on the first run.

Here are a few of my favorite features of the BOB Ironman:

This stroller is lightweight. Perfect for racing, training runs or an everyday stroll. It is very easy to fold up for packing in the car and the wheels are easily removable, too.

The weather shield is a must for cold weather runners. Once September hit, I have been using the weather shield on most of my runs. It's great for running in weather cooler than 65°F and keeps baby comfortable even while mom is struggling to push the stroller through the wind/snow/rain. Over the winter, I was able to take E out in the stroller if it was 20°F or above (which was rare!).

Long visor blocks sun and wind. Your child is protected from wind and the sun while running plus the stroller has a sun roof. The sun roof makes it easy to check on my son without stopping the run.

Storage in bottom basket and back of stroller. The storage space is perfect for hauling extra snacks, clothing, blankies, toys and mom's water bottle.

Now that the Lord has blessed us with Baby #2 on the way, I will be checking the Black Friday sales once again for a double stroller as awesome as this one. Also, check out my past post on Tips for Running with a Jogging Stroller!

What kind of stroller do you run with?
Any recommendations for a double stroller?

Linking up with National Stroller Running Day, Fitness Fridays and Mommy Moments..

Baby #2: 9 Weeks

Another week has passed by already and I can completely understand why some say 2nd pregnancies and on fly by faster than the first. It must be because the other little one(s) in the house keep you so busy there isn't much time to dream about your current pregnancy.

With E, I was always excited for the next stage of pregnancy - the next trimester, my belly growing bigger, etc. With this pregnancy, I just want it to slow down and enjoy this the best I can. I can't wait to meet our baby but I'm not super excited about going into labor again. Though I am excited for our first appointment with our midwife coming up!

This week I felt really rough and was nauseous 24/7, but I've been much better over the weekend.We just got back from church, I survived my second Sunday of playing piano on a worship team and now little man is down for a nap. I think it's time for mom to take a nap, too...

Pregnancy Week 9: Baby #2

Cravings: Similar to last week. A glass of milk does wonders for the heartburn. One of my favorites today has been a pickle wrapped in cream cheese and a slice of ham! I really wish I craved vegetables.

Aversions: Black coffee.

Eating: Hungry, nauseous, heartburn, repeat.

I'm Feeling: The nausea was bad earlier this week but now by Sunday I'm feeling great. It's been a rollercoaster!

Sleep: Really good until Leo left for duty this weekend. I have a hard time sleeping when he first leaves! Some days I take a quick power nap while E is napping. P.S. Someone forgot to tell E that it was daylight savings time this morning...

Physical Changes: My belly is definitely there and seems to "grow" by the end of the day (that's partially my food-baby). The hormones aren't doing wonders for my skin! I'm still feeling exhausted but running in the early morning is proven to be the way to go.

Weight: Up 1 lb from pre-pregnancy weight now.

My Prayer for Baby: "Lord, I thank You for this precious baby growing inside of me. I pray that our children grow to be men and women after Your own heart and that they focus on what is right, pure, lovely and good. Guide us as we raise up our children in a godly way. I pray that You develop my baby's heart perfectly and continue to bless his or her growth. Amen."
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 SAMUEL 16:7 (emphasis added by me)
Last Week's Workouts:
Monday: 3.29 miles with the jogging stroller and the dog, 9:33/mile avg.
Tuesday: Nothing. I felt horrible today! I managed to bake buns and make egg salad, then I spent the rest of the day trying to keep E busy.
Wednesday: 3.1 on the treadmill. The run seemed to help with my nausea.
Thursday: Strength training - upper body dumbbell circuit plus lunges.
Friday: 3.17 miles on the treadmill at 9:27/mile.
Saturday: 4.25 miles on the treadmill at 9:24/mile.
Total Mileage: 13.81 miles
E is on a roll lately with his big cheese smiles - picture below! I sure love the BumGenius 4.0 and Freetime diapers - the color "grasshopper" being my favorite (below). It will be interesting to try cloth diapering a newborn this time around! A friend borrowed me her Blueberry newborn diapers so we'll see how it goes next Spring. The patterns and colors are so cute!

E prefers to run around in just his diaper. It must be freeing...

Do you think he like attention? Nahh....

Does your family have any Sunday traditions? - For us: waffles, church, family time.
Did you find that your pregnancy flew by?
Anyone cloth diaper? What is your favorite brand?

Linking up at Mommy Moments.