Saturday, 23 July 2016

Lady Lou Being Pregnant

I thought I would spend some time telling you a few bits and pieces about how my pregnancy has been going.  I like to think that I have had a reverse style of pregnancy, where it was very tough at the start but then got easier as time went on.  Sorry, but this post is long!  I was going to break it into two, but trimester 1 is so much longer than trimester 2 and 3, so there was no point breaking them up.  Thanks for taking the time to read it!

1st Trimester

I actually found out that I was pregnant very early on - just over 4 weeks to be exact!  The week I found out I had a few sneaky suspicions.  At the time I was training for the 5km event at City to Sea but I was finding my runs so incredibly hard - I was exhausted after running 1km, which really wasn't like me.  I did put it down to the fact that I had done a 9km obstacle course the previous weekend, but I knew something wasn't 100% right with me.

My friend and I after City 2 Sea.  Thankfully my run on the day was better than my training runs!
I ended up Googling my symptoms and being pregnant kept popping up.  Technically my period wasn't 'late' but I have PCOS (diagnosed after I got pregnant!), so I never really know when that time of the month is due.  But I had cramps and really sore breasts, plus all that fatigue.  I didn't think it was true and then eventually did a test... which came up positive.  I was completely shocked and I had no idea how I was going to tell B.  We were living at his parents place (we were building a new house at the time) and I was in the process of changing careers, applying for jobs and going to interviews.  It was pretty funny when I showed him the pregnancy test as he had no idea what the lines meant and looked at me all confused.  But when he finally understood he was really happy and excited!

I had a lot of cramping to begin with, which was terrible as all I wanted to do was lay in bed all day.  Due to the cramping I had to have a fair few ultrasounds to confirm that I was actually pregnant and the embryo had implanted itself into my uterus.  At my first ultrasound the sonographer told me that so far it was a chemical pregnancy and I still had a chance of miscarriage, which was also a concern that my GP had.  I ended up becoming convinced that I was going to have a miscarriage and started getting a little depressed.  I had another ultrasound at around 8 weeks where it was confirmed that I was 100% pregnant and a little person was growing inside of me.

My Bump at 8 weeks and it was fully confirmed that I was pregnant and didn't have a chemical pregnancy.

I already knew that my pregnancy was probably going to be okay as around 5-6 weeks I started to develop morning sickness.  Morning sickness is not the correct  name as it implies that being sick only happens in the morning and that it should all be over by lunch time.  That was not my case.  I ended up calling it all-day-and-all-night sickness.  For about 10 weeks I felt sick all the time and soon I was throwing up at random times of the day.  I was on anti-nausea medication that required me to take a table once every 8 hours.  It would provide mild relief for about 5 hours and then the wave of sickness would hit me and I could count down the minutes until I could take another tablet.  I ended up being prescribed anti-nausea tablets that they give to people going through chemotherapy! They worked like a treat but at $30 for 8 tables (I took one a day), they were not cheap!

12 weeks - when I could still see my feet!

December 22nd was the first appointment with my obstetrician and also the day that I came down with a nasty virus!  I had aches and pains, fever and chills, plus a nasty cough.  We were also in the process of moving into our house!  And lovely Melbourne was experiencing a little heat-wave, with the temperatures being in the very high 30 degrees.  Timing was perfect!  When you are pregnant your baby is basically a parasite and it sucks all the nutrients away from you.  Since I was nauseous all the time I wasn't eating too much and whatever I was consuming would go straight to the baby.  It took me a good month to get over this virus.  I was no help in moving house or in setting everything up.  B had time off over Christmas, which he spent unpacking and playing PlayStation, whilst I spent all my time in bed.  My cough was so bad that I ended up straining my ribs, which I thought was painful, until one night when I sneezed and cracked a rib!  That was super painful as it hurt to breathe and cough, two things which I couldn't stop doing.  It took me 6 weeks to recover from that injury!  I also spent very little time at the gym.

Trimester 2

My all-day-and-all-night sickness lingered on until I was around 16 weeks pregnant and then life got better.  I returned back to gym and was training with my trainer again, along with participating in clinical pilates.  I decided not to resume running as the break I had taken whilst being sick was very long and I didn't want to do anything to my body that could cause injury (see how much I have changed!!).  In addition, my obstetrician told me not to let my heart rate go over 140 beats per minute, which was hard not to do and made running very frustrating.  I did continue to go to RPM and Cycle classes, along with hanging out on my favourite cross-trainer at the gym.

Gym sessions - keeping an eye on my heart rate at all times!

I also started to get the dreaded heart-burn/acid reflux, which I hated with a passion.  Talk about a way to ruin your day!  I have to have Zantac on me at all times!  It is by my bed, in our kitchen and in every single bag I use!  I also had a couple of weeks where I had a sore lower back, which was super annoying, but thankfully it was short lived.

The one little issue that I have had is I get sore ribs on my right side of my body when I sit for too long.  The pain starts at the front, just under my right breast, and then the pain will eventually spread into my ribs in my back under my shoulder blade.  I also start to get a numbness in the skin under my right breast too.  It is not serious and has been linked to my pectus excavatum (and I will write about this later).  All I have to do is lay down or stand and the pain eventually goes away.

Towards the end of  my second trimester!

Trimester 3

This trimester has been pretty uneventful.  I find that as I progress with my pregnancy my body really has been adjusting to the change.  My back has been feeling fantastic, which I think is due to the hormones in my body loosening all of my joints and ligaments as it is getting ready for birth.  My hips, pelvis and back are forever cracking and popping, so I feel somewhat refreshed.  I have had a lot of fluid in my body, particularly in my feet, ankles, calves and left knee, so much so that my obstetrician and personal trainer are convinced that most of my weight gain during this pregnancy is fluid!  I have learnt that I need to put my feet up more, which isn't a bad thing.  But the fluid isn't painful, just annoying as I only have one pair of normal shoes I can wear and I am now down to one pair of runners.  On bad days my feet don't even fit in my slippers!

Trust me - there is a lot of fluid!

And of course, I have still been going to the gym too!  My program is very easy and nothing is too strenuous - it is all about keeping me moving and maintaining what I have.  I do 30 minutes of weights twice a week, plus 30 minutes of the stationary bike a couple of times a week.  I stopped doing RPM and Cycle as I found that keeping my heart rate down was making the sessions boring and I started to dread the class.  But I am not obsessed with exercise.  If I am too tired or sore, I don't exercise.  That being said, I do find spending time on the stationary bike helps reduce the fluid in my feet.  It also gives me an opportunity to read too!

At the moment I am starting to feel a little tired, so I am starting to take it a little easy.  But most people find it strange that I am out and about.  I like to go out as I get bored at home, plus I have plenty of time to be house-bound when the baby arrives.  

Me at 40 weeks and feeling really, really big!  Get this baby out now!!!

I am now 3 days overdue and it really doesn't look like this baby is going to come any time soon.  My bump still sits really high, I haven't dropped and I know that she is very happy in my small and cramped abdomen! Yesterday I was rattling baby toys to my belly and she was kicking away, so I was like "You should really come out and then you can see these toys and we can play with them!" but as usual, she didn't listen and still remains inside.

Take care!

Lady Lou

Monday, 18 July 2016

It's Been A Long Time But I Have Some News!

How do you start writing a new post on your blog when it has been over a year since you last posted?

I have absolutely no idea!

I suppose I start by apologising for neglecting my blog for such a long time.  I'm sorry.  Life got busy... but boring!  I was injured the last time when I was blogging, so I felt that my posts were going to be pretty boring.  I had to completely stop exercising and have a heap of medical treatment to fix my back and right hip (so painful when I think back on it!).  Life was really boring.  When I was allowed to commence exercise a few months later I was allowed to run for 30 seconds and then walk for 2 minutes, which was repeated 5 times, with a total of 3 sessions per week.  My goodness it was boring!  Even my beloved RPM and Cycle classes were boring as I wasn't allowed to stand on the bike and I had to keep it slow.  I could not imagine blogging about my boring runs and gym sessions.

I did eventually get better but my focus in life changed.  I got a new trainer who opened my eyes to all the errors of my past.  I was no longer obsessed with running.  I no longer cared about the numbers on the scales.  I was busy trying to strengthen my body, which was so incredibly good as it allowed my body to finally completely heal itself after all of my injuries from running and a snowboarding accident back in 2008.  I was super strong!

Me at Mudderella in November 2015.  Everyone struggled climbing that wall but I did it with so much ease... and I didn't know I was 3 weeks pregnant!!

I also learnt a lot of things about my mental state whilst I was originally writing this blog.  I felt like I was originally a fraud.  I had all these posts about how happy I was living off 1200 calories a day, when really I was starving on the inside and my mind was going crazy.  But I don't want to talk about that now.  I have more important things to say.

Weights training.  I was the strongest I have ever been!

In September 2014 B and I started trying for a baby.  Nothing happened.  So we kept trying.  And still nothing.  I just resigned myself to the fact that we probably would have to go through IVF in the future and I would attend to this issue once I was 35 (I was 31 years old at the time).

Soon afterwards I met my trainer, cleaned up my diet and actually started all different types of food - nothing was prohibited or off limits anymore.  I started weights training 5 times a week and clinical pilates once to twice a week.  I was starting to feel good about myself.  And then this happened:

20 week scan.  Isn't that nose so cute!!

Yup, I finally got pregnant!  And B and I are expecting her any day now.  Yes, we are having a girl, which I am so excited about.  She is due on the 21st of July, but I have a feeling that she is gong to be late, so she will hopefully be here in late July to the first few days of August.

So, why am I back blogging?  I have been thinking about it a lot lately.  I probably picked a bad time as everyone keeps telling me that I will have no time to do anything once the baby arrives.  However, I miss blogging.  I have a lot of things that I want to say.  I want to correct a lot of the misguided information that was in a lot of my earlier post (FYI - I am not an advocate for the 12WBT anymore and I will tell you my reasons why in a future post). I often felt that this blog allowed me to say things that I couldn't say anywhere else - and trust me I have a lot to say about fitness, eating and pregnancy, and it would be nice to say it without being shamed.  Funnily enough, I haven't had any haters on this blog, unlike Facebook.

I also want to be able to provide information for pregnant women with pectus excavatum as there is little to no information out there.  I want to also document getting back into shape and being strong again after having a baby - I know it will be hard but I am up to the challenge!  And, I also really enjoy writing and I want to find that passion again.  I don't care if no one reads this blog, as long as I get to write I shall be happy.

Me and The Bump a few weeks ago.

Well, the Bump and I better get going as I could really keep writing for hours, however the cats are hungry and unfortunately they cannot feed themselves.  I also can't sit down for too long thanks to being pregnant.  But I will be back in the next few days to start writing about all the things I have been thinking about over the last couple of months.

Take care!

Lady Lou

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Australian Running Convention - Melbourne 2014

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the first Australian Running Convention in Melbourne.  It was an expo at The Parks in Albert Park with various stalls, seminars, workshops and activities dedicated to running. The tickets cost $59.00, but I was able to get the tickets at an early bird special of $29.00.

My friend Sarah and I met early in the morning and headed off to Albert Park. We arrived at 10am and spent a little bit of time walking around some of the stalls.  We then sat down for our first seminar - Coaching: Plan Your Running Year.  This session discussed how to plan your running year and all of the goals that you want to achieve.  As runner we need to understand that different goals will take different amounts of time.  We cannot expect to go from running 5km fun runs to marathons in a couple of months.  We must realise that our running goals can take years to achieve, however to help break it up it is good to add in some smaller goals.  If your goal is to run a marathon, first you will need to have the goal of running 5km, then 10km, then a couple of half marathons and then the full marathon.

There were two really important pieces of information that I got out of this session.  The first one is to make sure that in a week you stick to the number of kilometres that you are supposed to run.  If your training schedule says to run 30km in the week, stick to it.  If you are supposed to run 10km on Monday but you are too busy with work or family, break the run up into 2 - 5km in the morning and then 5km in the afternoon.  The second most important thing that I learnt is that it is okay to walk during your training sessions.  There is nothing wrong with walking.  It doesn't mean that you have failed.  Walking is just as important as running - from people learning to run to those training to run ultra marathons.

The second seminar was Sports Physiotherapy: Run Yourself Well.  I could have really used this session when I first started running!  This session was a question and answer session with a physiotherapist and a podiatrist.  The main point that I learnt was that if something hurts then you need to stop.  No more running.  Rest and if it doesn't get better go see someone about it.  I also learnt that people who run should have a minimum of two pairs of runners on rotation.  This will firstly prolong the life of your runners as the foam in the sole will have time to recover and won't compress as easily.  Secondly, it is good to have different runners for different runs i.e. a firmer runner for longer runs and a light runner for your speed sessions.

After the seminar Sarah and I met with with Carol, who is on the 12WBT Runners Connect Facebook page and a fellow blogger.  We headed outside to go to a workshop on yoga and injury prevention.  It was beautiful sitting outside in the sun.  Melbourne had certainly put on a beautiful day!  The yoga session was lovely! I'm not sure if my specialist would approve of me doing a gentile yoga session, but I felt that it was what my body needed.  It felt amazing to stretch my legs out and my abs sort of enjoyed the core work (I have such sore abs today!!).  The yoga session was presented by Rise Yoga and I so wish that they were closer to home as I would love to do their sessions!

We went for another wander around the stalls and picked up a few freebies and then we went back outside for the Strength Training for Runners.  Due to my injury I decided to sit this one out, but I watched everyone do their squats, lunges, burpees, crunches etc.  The purpose of the workshop was to show people the right technique and also to teach people that strength training is so important for running.  We need to make sure that all of the muscles in our body are strong to prevent injury (I wish I knew that when I started running).  We also had a little demonstration on what types of stretches we should to on a foam roller, which is also important for running.

Carol, Sarah and I then decided to go and grab some lunch - I had the Korma Lamb Curry with Rice from Dineamic, which was so delicious.  I wish I had taken a photo.  Thankfully their food is available in many supermarkets all over Australia.  We then enjoyed our time in the sun and then went back inside to browse at more stalls.  I then decided to call it a day as I was getting tired and I was starting to feel a little sore.

Overall, I thought it was a great convention, although it was a little smaller than I expected.  That being said, it was the first convention.  The seminars were really interesting and were really well presented.  The workshops were awesome as everyone got to participate (it wasn't capped).  Many of the seminars and workshops followed the theme of injury prevention, which I thought was great.  So many runners out there keep getting injured, so we really need to be providing more advice.  And, as I previously mentioned, being able to physically learn the steps to prevent injury was helpful - much better than just reading about it.

I hope that next year the convention is a little larger, however as long as the convention was successful I imagine this would happen.  It would be great to see more sponsors get on board and to see more stalls.

The only negative thing is that I thought that the price was a little steep.  I paid $29.00 as I got the early bird special and I had a code for a $10 discount.  If I had paid $59.00 for my ticket then I probably would have been a little disappointed.

Let's cross our fingers that the day was successful and that there will be an Australian Running Convention in 2015!

Take care!

Lady Lou