2 weeks in

How has it already been 2 weeks tomorrow ? Every precious moment seems to be gone in an instant, he’s even outgrown his newborn clothing already. Luckily, each moment next seems to be equally as sweet, and regardless of how large he grows I only seem to love him more each day.

A day old bonding with Dad

It would be a lie to say everything has been easy. It would be false to pretend there hasn’t been many moments of wincing at the engorged breasts, or questions about my own competency when I couldn’t figure out the meaning of a cry… It would be idealistic to act as though it all has come smoothly and without trial and error.

However, it all together has felt like a dream. Watching Billy fall in love with Cosmo, caring for him, and learn how to better that care has been the most beautiful bonding experience I could ever imagine. Allowing him to cater to my small, and large, and sometimes what feels like to me never ending needs has been both humbling and the most intimate experience of my life next to the labor we walked thru 2 weeks ago.

Homework at 5 days old

Finding a balance for any family is a dance, and I can’t even fathom how single parents, or parents of multiples survive. I guess we only know our reality so we manage to walk thru what is handed our way. Hats off to all my single parents and parents of multiples in my life. You are all amazing. As we find our own balance I find myself washed in gratitude that Billy is the man he is, patient, calm, willing to adjust and alter and learn on the go. I feel so grateful for our relationship and him, that I feel almost in a state of bliss or a permanent glow.

Sunshine beat a tiny pinch of jaundice he had at birth

So here we are, I suppose stumbling forward as any new parent does… with hopefulness for a smooth and healthy future. We find ourselves in a constant state of questioning to learn more, and attempting to bask in every moment knowing it is fleeting.

Some days I feel like I spend 18 hours on this couch nursing. But I wouldn’t trade a single moment of it for anything else.

And in the middle of the last few weeks we held another Hawaii Mountain Running race the Go Big 50km. Cosmo had a big day out, luckily I had two extra set of hands, a friend Alec to drive our truck, and Kalea a friends daughter to help with Cosmo. Billy ran a great race, hitting several PRs and so did all the other racers who came to try to get personal bests Or qualify for the 50k world championships. https://youtu.be/Race Video 1 Race video 2

To say I was nervous about how the race day would go is an understatement. I didn’t know if I would have already had Cosmo, if I’d be in labor that day, or if I’d feel up to race director duties. Luckily it all worked out well, he was 10 days old on race day, and I felt great. So far I’ve only gone on a handful of short walks to get the dogs out and Cosmo so sunshine… but I’ve had to resist doing more since day 1, so I’m super pleased with my recovery. At first, I felt like it was post road 100 miler, with bone aches, stiffness, and a small tear that felt painfully similar to 100 miler chafe. But after 3 days I’ve felt like myself again, just a little low energy from a new sleep pattern. Luckily, a few clients have let me return to coaching, and my podcast can be recorded while nursing. Working though minimally, makes me feel more normal in my new life rhythm and I’m so grateful that Billy is home for a few weeks to help with Cosmo so I can do it with minimal stress.

My skinned knee from tripping over nothing as usual, and realizing I would fall on Cosmo If I didn’t choose to land on my knees first… luckily I managed to only hurt myself!

So how do we feel? Overwhelmingly in love, both with each other as lovers and as parents with our newest edition. Excited, for our future and the lessons it will hold. Hopeful that we can exceed our parental goals and handle it with grace.

Stay tuned.

The birth of Cosmo Sage and the rebirth of myself…

On the night of the 30th of March Billy and I had just laid down to sleep, when my water broke at 9:30 pm. Within a few minutes mild contractions had started. I planned to go back to sleep knowing it would be a long process.

So I texted my friend Katja a doula on Oahu and my midwife to let them know updates, changed the bedsheets, and tucked back in bed. By 10 pm I was texting my midwife to let her know contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and I was unable to speak any non 4 letter words thru them. It looked like Cosmo was in a hurry.

My midwife was on the way and arrived within an hour, naturally of course things started to spread out a little and I apologized and tried to send her home. She refused and said I was in active labor and we had a lot going on, she was committed to being there for it all. I’m so grateful she refused to leave because the night was extremely painful and having so many options for positions to labor, suggestions for how to move to process it kept me calm thru the pain. She also had great Hawaiian chanting music & a flute playlist that really helped distract me when all of the hours of playlists I had planned left me with disinterest within a few seconds.

Unfortunately, my bodies reaction to the pain was nonstop vomiting. So that was exhausting to be in pain, trying to hydrate, coping with alternating pouring sweat and shivering within 2 minutes of each other, and then also vomiting nonstop. However, Billy was amazing and really good at picking up my nonverbal cues so all I had to do was ride each wave, try not to break his hand or wrist squeezing them in the process and hope I didn’t give him a burst eardrum from the screams. Ironically, I had told my midwife when I coped with pain I was usually very withdrawn and silent, but as birthing would have it, it was an adventure into finding a new side of myself.

As the sun rose, I began to find a rhythm or really a new level of handling the pains. I stopped having any concerns about Billy or Roxanne’s well-being and tapped into survival mode, I knew that the average first time labor was about 12 hours so I was holding hope to “just be average” for once in my life. As 9 then 10 am passed I started to feel the urge to push, and I remained hopeful that things were progressing quickly. I became almost completely nonverbal, minus the uncontrollable screams and a few questions to Roxanne if she thought I should go to the hospital. At this point, if I had been at a hospital I would have easily caved for any drug offered. Instead, like a good ultrarunning coach or a damn good midwife, she offered me some CBD cream, gave me some black & blue cohosh to help soften and told me to try to not vomit it (at this point I was only sipping bubbly water then vomiting it shortly after), and told me I was strong and capable and she believed in me. Essentially leaving me with no excuses, if she was convinced Cosmo was safe I knew I would have major regrets for hospital interventions and the trauma that system causes to mom and baby. She also offered to give me a cervical check in the birthing pool, she had tried in earlier labor and one other time but both times I had felt uncomfortable with anyone but Billy touching me so as soon as she went to start I denied it and she obviously honored that. She never made me feel any pressure to do any traditional “medical” other than consistently checking Cosmo heart rate to make sure it was both doing fluctuations and consistently within a healthy range. It was around this mid morning when I regretfully realized I hadn’t started my Garmin. I wanted to log the labor as a workout and see what kind of data I came out with, I believe I was mid contraction and glanced at my watch realizing they were lasting over five minutes and less than a minute apart, and my heart rate was close to 190 from the pain. What cool data that could have been. Regrettably, I didn’t start my watch then, because I believe another contraction hit and my urge to push was beginning to take over my body.

By half past 11 am, I was uncontrollably and unconsciously pushing with every contraction. It was completely wild to witness, which is what I felt like I was doing, it was almost an out of body experience of which I am so grateful. If I had been in control of my body, I don’t think I would have possessed the willpower to push as hard as I was, my body had completely taken charge of the process and my mental and emotional side were just along for the ride.

At this point, I was still frantically trying to find the best location to labor, the birthing pool had seemed ideal in planning, but in reality for me it felt too distanced from Billy. In retrospect, I could have asked him to hop in with me, but again I wasn’t in control of anything that was occurring it was a wild trip that I can only guess it could compare to a heavy dosing of psychedelics (I personally have never done a heroic dose of psychedelics to confirm this assumption). I for some reason preferred the couch lying on my side or standing holding onto his neck it was the positions that enabled me to feel closest to Billy, therefore safest I didn’t have it in me to explain my needs but I think he unconsciously knew my dependence on him and wouldn’t even go to the bathroom without checking to see if I could be alone for 30 seconds.

My midwife, commented only a runner would want to birth on her feet after being awake and in pain for so long. If I had had the capability of speaking I would have commented that I wished it was my feet that hurt this time after the all nighter… Ultimately, after primarily pushing from the couch for over 3 hours I asked Roxanne if she thought a position change would speed things up. I was scared that I’d go beyond the 30 minutes to 4 hour range she told me was the average for pushing, and as I was well past the 12 hour first labor average I was plenty ready to settle for average at something. I knew from my doula education and basic common sense to push while lying down forces the baby to go up against gravity, one of the main reasons I didn’t want to be trapped in a hospital for this experience. We agreed the birthing stool was probably the best location, the pool having become cold by this time with my many hours of intense labor. So somehow with never ceasing contractions I made the longest 3 foot journey of my life from the couch to the stool in our living room. A never ending streams of screams, was broken by a brief smile when Roxanne told me to touch his head. It was all I could do to unclamp my fingers from the edge of the wooden stool, but the most gratifying experience. Billy, knew I needed his touch and probably quite painfully resigned to his fingers being clamped between my palm and the wooden stool. As I pushed almost without ceasing Roxanne warned me the ring of fire would begin, but at this point the idea of more pain was a mute point my body had exceeded any capacity to distinguish more pain from where I had been for what seems like eternity.

I confirmed with her that he would arrive soon, I knew my body was going to shut down I had been trembling uncontrollably for at least 6 hours and pushing over 3 hours. That’s when she realized his hand was next to his head, he had been sucking his thumb in the womb and it had delayed his process coming. A few more warrior screams and his head and hand were out, a brief moment to untangle the cord from his shoulder and his body tumbled into Roxanne’s hands and he was instantly on my chest. His time of birth was 3:03 pm March 31st. Within a moment he was pink, and we were settled in a more comfortable position on the couch while we awaited the placenta. Roxanne’s assistant who had arrived the last hour to help with the final stages brought me orange juice, I called my mother to tell her the surprise, and then passed the phone off to Billy as I felt a small few contractions (can they even be called that after the lower lever of discomfort they caused??) and the placenta was out, with only one small lingering piece Roxanne carefully extracted.

Within a few moments, Billy was next to me on the couch we were eating oatmeal and honey kindly prepared for us. Then he was cutting the cord, and having a moment with Cosmo, while Roxanne escorted me to the shower and then tucked me in bed as gently as a newborn baby myself. Billy and Cosmo joined us, she did his newborn exam to beat all of our bets he was 8.1 pounds larger than we all guessed, and he passed all reflexes with flying colors. His only flaws were some bruising on the skull from his long time of playing tag with my cervix.

Measuring his skull, chest, and length before his reflex checks

Then, like magic our entire house looked like a professional cleaning team had come thru, every linen was washed, dishes were done, the house was spotless and we were both tucked in bed before 5 pm. Roxanne, let us know the house was ours and with a hug from my new fairy godmother she flitted out of the house leaving us to our dream.

40 weeks 💕

What a beautiful season of transition this pregnancy has been… although in honesty it hasn’t been without growing pains both literally and emotionally.

What I expected during pregnancy has never really come to fruition… being all out physically ill, miserable, tired, all of the symptoms. In fact, I would classify most of my discomfort as very mild, unless I’m tired then I find myself getting a little bit whiney at times. Luckily Billy, is patient and loving and kind and rational, so I can’t imagine going thru this season with anyone else. Well I can imagine it, but I’d prefer not to!

What I didn’t expect is the growing pains of emotional transition. I didn’t expect friends to react so violently to the news that I was pregnant and instantly change their reactions about well everything towards me. I didn’t expect for my choice to attempt a home birth to create such a strong negative reaction from people who had other birthing experiences. To be clear the only judgment I have against hospital birth, is that on practitioners who don’t push education and clarify for consent. I support any birthing person, who does what they find most empowering and safe for them and their child. I didn’t expect to deepen friendships with people I barely knew or only knew thru the internet (hi Jenn & Gina). I didn’t expect for theses new friendships to come in so strongly, that unfortunately there had to be a cleansing of the old. Some of these transitions were my choice, some were merely rejections from friends I thought I would have for life. What an unprecedented twist that took, growing pains and not necessarily in my abdomen but my heart.

Today is my “due date” and as the evening wears on, I write these moments of reflection… I’m sure some emotion comes thru, it’s impossible to lose a piece of the past without some form of grief.. but I choose in this time to find gratitude for the overwhelming support I have had from people I did and didn’t expect it from… and the losses that come with this joy, unfortunately they only revealed more of the truth about those people that I really wanted to accept.

Since this was one of the posts I shared (not the creator) that was so decisive it ended a relationship… and I stand by it… I’ll share it again here, so anyone non supportive can choose to exit now.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CM5OOJcAuAb/?igshid=qcq0vm5gce3c

So there it is, a photo catapult to ending a relationship. Biological facts. If this triggers or upsets you, I invite you to read Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth or if you aren’t the reading type, perhaps watch the movie “The Business of Birth”. Or just do a few Google searches on home birth success rates for low risk pregnancies. America has one of the most unsafe birthing rates for any developed nation globally, and while yes medicine is amazing and life saving when needed… that is the opposite of “low risk.

Part of this pregnancy, was a journey to education that actually led me to become a doula to gain Continuing Credit Hours for my ND and learn as much as I could about the process in general. It’s been insightful, educational, and enlightening about the medical model of making birth well a business in America. I support anyone doing what they feel safest and happiest doing and I have no hang ups about transferring to a hospital if I feel the need or have any medical concerns. However, for people to judge the mother based off what they think is safest for her child, is to leave the mother out of the equation of birth, and to me that is fundamentally incorrect.

So here we go, to new seasons and to a hopefully a healthy “overdue” baby, sometime in the next day or 3 weeks!

39 + 2

Another week down, and wildly I feel so great! I’m so happy to have all of the medication done for the rat lungworm exposure, and am hopeful that chapter of my life is closed. My only “symptoms” this past week were some mild headaches and some arm, neck, face tingling sensations… they seem to be gone now, and I’m hopeful everything is resolved. I’m so thankful to be off medication, and with luck will be able to breastfeed when Cosmo shows up.

I went for a midwife checkup Monday to confirm all was well after thinking my water may have begun to leak Sunday morning… However, all is well, and Cosmo is hanging out, presumably having a grand time until he’s ready to show up.

So now we wait, as patiently as possible… and just enjoy the ride. It’s nice my midwife only has me as a client right now too, so I can be sure she will be available and hopefully well rested at whatever time I need her!

I’m taking my coaching work a little easier, booking myself only a few hours each day and keeping my hiking and yoga light which is part of why I think I still feel so good!

Just a short update for those of you that read along!

38 + 🐌👎

What a wild week, and it’s only just begun. Sunday, I ate a brunch salad, that I made and unfortunately bit into a slug. Knowing that rat lungworm is a potential here (although rare I thought in my area of the island)… I started calling the hospital, poison control, my midwife, and ND / MD friends. Getting a tip that the university here in Hilo is the best resource I began systematically calling each phone number in the Pharmaceutical Colleges number from the UH Hilo website. It’s a Sunday afternoon surely no one will answer… Then I began calling them all, again.

Finally, an angel at the lab answered, with a web link to a protocol the university had created for treatment.

She assured me the risk of exposure was low, due to my residency area and the area I purchased the kale from being in my neighborhood. However, due to pregnancy I decided to take it serious and start with immediately taking the over the counter medication. My midwife was encouraging of this choice, and I was unable to get a physician on the phone due to the Sunday afternoon availabilities of the average GP.

After that, I decided to feel relaxed about the situation. It seemed unlikely anything would come of it and the medication and an afternoon fast seemed like more than enough, if anything overkill.

Monday, I take my slug friend who I had frozen to the university lab. If nothing else I was curious about their processes. I spoke to the lab technician for a great length of time, learning a lot about rat lungworm, the lower likelihood of my exposure due to slug type and the blessing my location… I learned about the Department of Health’s lack of involvement in the processes and walked away wondering why the state handles the risk to its people so minimally and so poorly. I was instantly fascinated that Australia could have such great responses and research, yet we fall behind. As I read about the treatments, I learned how cheap the medications were to make and source in most of the world, yet how prohibitively overpriced they are here in Hawaii, and how insurance won’t cover the cost, so local residents end up not taking the medication. In fact I learned some people mistakingly take Ivermectin, from the feed store. While it is a medication for parasites it can’t cross the blood brain barrier and is useless for rat lungworm.

Feeling responsible, educated, politically concerned, and like a responsible citizen I enjoyed the rest of my Monday. I did the right thing, I learned a lot, I talked to my mother, I joined a Facebook support/educational group, I had some great chats with my MD & ND friends about the state of our states medical care. . . And then I moved on with my day, relaxed and calm.

Today, I ignored my phone… Billy and I had a lot going on, he has the week off for spring break, and we want to make the most of our last times as a “couple without kid(s)”…. We went to the beach, we enjoyed sleeping in, we did all of our favorite things that my body still wants to do! (Ie. hiking not running…. you perverts!) As the afternoon wore on and my emails piled up I checked a few more times for information back from the lab. Perhaps I should give her a call, she did promise to try to get results today.

So I called the lab, and as soon as I identified myself, I heard her tone change. This woman I learned so much from Monday, and I had built a rapport and I instantly knew the answer.

She began apologizing unnecessarily as we culturally as women tend to… She was worried and upset for me, the slug was positive and highly so. Please seek full medical treatment she urged me, worried as her follow up email clarified for me and my baby. Instantly, I texted my midwife. We have a great relationship, and Cosmo is my first priority in making sure what we do is as safe as possible. She urged me to get medication immediately, but I as explained the wait times to get in seemed like such a barrier that she agreed to step out of her scope of practice to write the prescription. The treatment protocol linked above is fairly clear, and the risk to Cosmo’s health seems to be minimal.

On the way to a pharmacy, I chatted both with a MD and ND friends that I highly respect, and were kind enough to blur professional and friendship lines. Both of them agreed treatment was safer than not for both Cosmo and I. Both made gracious caring offers to attempt to source the medications I would need, in the case it was as overpriced as the lab tech told me it would be. You see some of my political concerns began Monday, when I found out the cost of the treatment was over 10,000 for just one medication, that costs a few dollars in the rest of the world. Luckily, I am privileged to be in the middle of an insurance transfer and weirdly just chose to extend my former one, to blend the transfer time with my new insurance. This decision was made on Friday, so you can see the irony in the situation. I even told my contact at my first insurance company that I would like to extend it to make sure there was an overlap… I said ” if I ever went one day without insurance a freak accident would happen and I would end up in medical debt for years”…. Its like I knew something… .

Getting to the pharmacy, I find out the prescription wasn’t filled. She says, “Oh the prescription is $3,000 so we wanted to make sure your insurance or you could cover it.” I said “yes, I have insurance, and I am willing to pay the $3000 not covered.” She said, “ok let me fill it and we’ll go ahead and ring you up. Oh wait, this is a coupon for the medicine to be $3000 off, it’s going to be $12,800.” As I picked my jaw up, I asked, “will either of my insurances offset that?” Checking my cards she said she’d look up that one may help, but decisively stated my new insurance definitely would not. Then she informed me, they don’t have the medicine, can I please pull forward (I chose the drive thru line because of covid ). I wait in the parking lot for 5, 10, then 20 minutes until she calls having finally sourced a pharmacy that did have the medication.

So off I drive to another location, Target in Hilo. As I rush in the store, the days hours are getting less I sigh of relief as I get to the pharmacy, and right as I get to the pharmacist and we begin to speak. I am getting yelled at ? It seems with the Covid 6 foot rule, a line was started in the aisle behind the pharmacy area, and I had just cut it. Apologizing for my flustered idiocy I bit back tears, I just needed to know that the pharmacy had the medication, whatever obscene cost. Finally, my turn in the line and I talk to the pharmacy tech to find out, yes they have the medication, yes they can fill it, no it wasn’t filled when the prior pharmacy told me they had asked them to… Can I shop around and come back in an hour?

Oh sure, why I’d love to go shopping while I ponder if I will be spending $1,000 or $13,000. I chat with my father in law who’s always good for an entertaining chat, regardless of the late night disturbance… I let him know that I was able to find a location with the medicine, that it should all workout ok… as I knew my husband had been talking to his parent and I didn’t want them worried unnecessarily. And then I headed back to the pharmacy, fun Target shopping has been lackluster and left me empty handed, as I brace for my soon to be empty pockets.

“Excuse me Ma’am, I forgot to ask I may have to do some bank transfers. Can you let me know todays total cost perhaps??”, I couldn’t wait the hour, the suspense was making me nauseous. “Oh, sorry I was able to get your insurance to agree, its covered no copay,” she responded. “What?” I blinked. Surely, I was in a daydream. She clarified, “Well they don’t normally agree but if it’s a mistake, just accept it and move on this is a very expensive prescription.” Relieved, but not overly optimistic, I paced around for a few more minutes, before deciding to creepishly wait in the medication aisles. I wanted the medication, more than a druggie looking for their next fix. I just wanted out of Target, away from people, and to be home with the medication and some now to be cooked vegetables (raw increases the risk of exposure) for dinner. I chatted with my best friends from my life before in Japan, and made jokes about all the alcohol I was missing in this moment. We talked about sex lives, acne, and what alcoholic beverage I’d have first. If it wasn’t for these dear women in my life, I don’t know how I get thru any of my small or larger crisis’. I hope I can offer them the same comfort in moments of life oddities we find ourselves navigating thru.

A few minutes later, a hand wave from the pharmacy tech, and a massive bag of medicine taped shut she takes my info, and away I waddle. Now currently carrying two children, on in utero, one in a paper bag taped sketchily shut containing $8599 dollars of drugs I assume I may have to backpay my insurance for when they come to their senses.

As I walk away, I find myself in shock. I let my medical friends, and Japanese life friends know the good fortune. And I head to get gas ( the light was on my entire 28 mile frantic drive to the pharmacies )… and a snack to take the medication with… I shake my head in wonder. What was the lesson here?

Just when you think you have life all planned it will shake you? A midwife is ten times more valuable then a GP? The Hawaii Department of Health is corrupt and hiding things at the detriment of its people by minimizing case counts, and manipulating what can be consider a diagnosis ?

What a wild ride. I am so grateful to my family, my friends, and my midwife for helping me navigate this. Wednesday I do finally have a phone call doctors appointment, and maybe I’ll get more direction on where to go…. But for now, I trust the scientists at the university, and I choose to believe the treatment protocol they created for known exposure is the safest and best option. And to the few who decided to share their thoughts that medication is dangerous, I shall try a quote from my always sharp mother, “If you don’t have anything positive to say shut your damn mouth”. If I wanted your medical advice this week, I already called you. Otherwise your insights on my child’s safety weren’t requested.

More later, thanks for reading these disconnected thoughts that hopefully give me a chuckle in a few years from now….

Full term… 37 + 1

What a relief it was to pass the “full term” checkbox off. Sorry for the lack of updates for the few people who read here, it’s been wild month or so it’s been. . . Billy & I have had a whirlwind of houseguests since January so I haven’t had time to collect my thoughts.

As we edge into the final few days/ weeks I’ve been surprised at how good I’ve continued to feel. Insomnia has crept back in the last few weeks, but my energy is usually fairly high still until a mid afternoon dose of fatigue hits.

We got a puppy a few weeks ago, Zeus. He’s an adorable bundle of energy and has learned so fast. Most people thought it was a terrible idea, Billy included… but of all the puppies I’ve had, he’s been the simplest to train and the most willing to please. So that was a relief, to have him housebroken and well trained for the most part within the first week.

Zeus enjoying his first beach & swimming outing

Unfortunately it has been horrible rain this month, when all I want to do is be outside and soak up the last few moments of “non mom” freedoms. So I’ve gotten to hike, and explore less than I would like. However, the lack of fun has made me more productive with my online clients program planning… which is probably the more responsible life choice. . .

So here we are, full term, my belly dropped around week 36, the entire side of this island is flooding, I have a house full of wrestling dogs and houseguests…. and my morning started off with dry heaving and vomiting. Maybe it’s early labor, maybe it’s just a practice run? To be continued. . .

A few notes at 31+4

First and foremost a celebration for Cosmo being LOA already! A weeks of pelvic elevations and two evenings with ice we’re enough to encourage him to move. I’m sure he would have moved eventually, but I’m much more comfortable now and so grateful for Katja’s advice to help get him moving early!

Secondly, I’ve decided to get Doula certified, thru a DONA certified course for my CEUs for my ND. So all of my obsessive reading can go to a purpose, beyond just my self education. I’ve realized too few women have the luxury of time that I do, and the resources that I do to read and study for this season of their lives. As I live in a more remote location, with an absence of family except for Billy, and minimal access to close friends… I am aware that many women would find this island, isolating and without the luxury of the education I’ve been obtaining, I can imagine this process would be terrifying.

Other than those small updates, life is good. I am sleeping more. My workouts have shifted to walks, yoga, and strength. I am completely satisfied with that and enjoying the journey my body is taking me on daily. I am pleased with feeling attuned to my intuition and excited to meet Cosmo whenever he feels like coming to this side.

30 weeks … the final countdown??

As I write these words, I already anticipate missing these moments. Being pregnant has been such a gift, and a joy that I know soon or at least someday I will miss these moments. Being filled with life, is really the most intimately feminine experience I can imagine and one I thought many times I wouldn’t get to experience.

So much has changed in Billy and I’s relationship. I’ve seen him take on a tenderness and patience that even I didn’t know he had. As if he anticipated my needs or wants he’s stepped up in all things household related cooking dinners before I say I’m tired, washing dishes before I even think to ask, taking Zia for more runs as my waddling walk has ceased to impress her lately. It’s not these small actions that have surprised me though, he’s always been caring and sensitive. It’s as though he has a radar on my moods and energy levels and our relationship seems to have taken on a level bordering telepathy. It’s a beautiful gift to have a partnership without guilt or fault, to be able to need more and to receive it without shame or any lingering concerns about attached strings.

While my relationship with Billy has strengthened endlessly, my attachment to physical fitness has released. In birth, you are ultimately without control and as I entered the third trimester I’ve allowed myself to let go of expectations once again for the final stretch. I find myself still moving more than the “average American” walking several miles a day, practicing yoga nightly, lifting weights with more frequency, but allowing running to take a backseat. At this point there is no direction or focus minus the consistency with the Spinning Babies yoga to try to encourage him out of his Transverse Lying position… otherwise I’m just allowing my body to move how I feel or don’t feel, day depending.

29 weeks 5 days, camping at one of Billy’s favorite surf breaks

More for my memory than anything, a few physical updates. My 8 hours on average sleep is interrupted but otherwise sufficient. I find myself more likely to take a nap than normal but it’s maybe once a week not a daily situation… I have some mild heartburn if my meals aren’t small, and some discomfort in the evenings when my energy/ tolerance is lower. Currently with Cosmos’ transverse lie I can feel the hard lump of his rear wedged into my right side, but the kicks just to the right of my belly button still give me delight over discomfort. Overall I’m amazed at how great I feel, but attribute a lot of it to proper sleep, and a low stress lifestyle. Women I know who worked hectic, long hour, demanding jobs until their delivery… How? You are all my heroes.

I know I will miss these moments, counting his kicks, feeling round like a feminine goddess, having the most kind and tender version of my partner… but yet I look forward to the future with excitement. How will our day of birth go? What will his personality be like? Will be be chubby as an infant like Billy with 4 chins or thin like myself? Funny how we both ended up with metabolisms that trend the opposite of our infant selves. Will he have curly hair? What color will it be? And the sound I look forward to the most is hearing his giggle. These moments of now, fill me with delight, but I know it’s only the beginning of our journey. I’m quite convinced we are the luckiest family in the world.

Vivid Dreams

28 weeks 5 days

I’ve always been a vivid dreamer, but the category of things I dream about are consistent… My family, my closest friends, and over a lifetime of nightmares usually similar in theme if not in topic.

However for the last 6 weeks or so I’ve had dreams that aren’t mine. They are his, I was so sure of it the first time it happened I woke up Billy in a fog to tell him I was having thoughts and dreams that weren’t my own. It’s like the layer between us isn’t fully sealed and I’m able to experience his memories from another life or his dreams and hopes for this one.

Each dream is of course different, but the themes are not mine to dream of, ocean, fishing, swimming with sharks and dolphins fearlessly, driving a tractor trailer, rescuing an injured octopus…. Each time I learn a little more about him, who he might have been or who he hopes to become. I hope this layer between us stays thin for a while.

This tiny pink octopus could one day be named Opisthoteuthis adorabilis. (Image credit: Screenshot, Science Friday )

Each time I have one of his more specific dreams I wake up with new knowledge, specific that I know wasn’t mine before… the brand of a fishing rod, the type of fishing rack specific to a Mini Cooper, the intricacies of shifting a tractor trailer, the ability and timeline for octopuses to regrow their limbs. I wish I could see his face, his smile, or know what his journey on this life will look like, but I suppose that story will come soon enough. For now I suppose I’ll dream of the sea.

Training Shifting 20 weeks to week 26

Rounding the corner past 26 weeks and I realize I’ve forgotten to write about a few training shifts the last two weeks. The main reason for these blogs is a self journaling habit, to keep the memories of this precious time close, and also to hopefully be a source of positivity or at least honesty for other active moms to be…

About three weeks ago at week 23 I noticed my weekly miles were trending downwards from 40s and 50s to a new low of 22 miles in a week. While I’ve let go of “expectations” or mile “goals” I noticed the weeks post week 20 I had been feeling slightly more fatigue with every easy run. It was resulting in shorter runs, and overall less movement.

So I switched up my plans from heading out for a run to heading outside for whatever my body felt… mostly it was walks, but the next week I was up to 60 miles a high for the past few months anyways…

As I’m doing this pregnancy “training” with the intention of simply moving as much as things feel good, this was exciting ! I get to move more and feel less intensity! Taking the word of “running” out of the movement expectation and replacing it with “whatever I feel” – which is convenient since bending down to toe shoes is a hassle and sandals are great for long walks! While I still find myself primarily running a few days a week, this word switch has been a clutch key in continuing to feel great later in pregnancy!

As far as other training, I’m Hitting my Spinning Babies Yoga routine about 5 nights a week, strength training is 2-4 times a week, and cycling has been less than once a week… The lack of cycling is only because I’m saving my patience for indoor training hours when I have a newborn I don’t want to pack up for outdoor adventures!

My overall recovery has felt great, I feel 100% fresh every day or I completely rest. I’m sleeping well this trimester about 8.5 hours a night average, using recovery boots, arnica, cbd, and massage as my main methods of intentional recovery!

Http://www.bee boys.org (not sponsored just honestly a huge fan )

So that’s where I’m at, practicing good sleep hygiene, working on meditation and yoga more seriously than I have in years, enjoying long walks, and really loving every moment of this beautiful journey. For those of you still here, thank you dearly for tuning in, I hope you found value in my thoughts.