As I write this blog post I am currently no longer pregnant! I'm very happy to report that I delivered a healthy baby boy at the beginning of March! We are doing well and getting back into the swing of things.
Now for my last few weeks of pregnancy, let's just say things didn't go as planned. At 35 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational hypertension. This diagnosis is basically high blood pressure brought on by pregnancy. I was really surprised by this diagnosis because I've never had an issue with my blood pressure before. I also was tested for preeclampsia but did not have it. Thank goodness!
Once I had this diagnosis I had to monitor my blood pressure at home and see if it raised with my activity level. Unfortunately it did raise, the more active I was, so I stopped going to the gym, or outside, or anywhere, and basically sat on the couch everyday.
This was a far departure from what I'm use to doing, but necessary to keep my little one safe! If I were to offer advice to pregnant women it would be to always go to your prenatal appointments. I felt fine and never had any clue that my blood pressure was rising. I feel so fortunate that it was caught at one of my regular appointments.
Once I delivered I was surprised to see my blood pressure spike even more and I had to go on medication. Fortunately it has started to improve as I reach almost 4 weeks after delivery. I'm also starting to move again and it feels great!
It's now spring in Pittsburgh which is wonderful because I can go outside for walks. This past week I walked my first mile in what feels like forever. It was super slow but I was just happy to complete it!
At this point I don't have any goals set for myself but I'm sure I'll be thinking of some over the next few weeks. I'm very eager to take up my active lifestyle again and get healthy for my new addition!
Well I am still plugging along. Just barely, but yes, still plugging along. Somewhere in the midst of Week 30 I hit a major energy crisis. I felt like I was back in the first trimester, struggling to survive my day and looking for a place to quickly lay down and find some peaceful sleep.
The point of this blog is not to complain, but I don't want to sugarcoat the way I'm feeling either. Growing a tiny human is exhausting physically, and as someone who was crazy enough to run a marathon twice, I'd like to think that I have a good handle on physically exhausting myself.
Although my workouts have felt like a shell of what I know I am capable of doing, I have been proud of myself for just continuing to move as much as possible. Some days are better than others. Some weeks I work out three times. Some weeks I work out once. I'm really letting how I feel dictate how much I do at the moment.
It almost seems hard to believe I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy. For a long time I've wondered if this day would ever come. It was almost three years ago that my husband and I decided that we wanted to try to start a family. Little did we know that we would suffer two miscarriages, I would suffer from a hormonal imbalance after my losses and after all of that we would discover my condition that would make all of my pregnancies high risk.
In some ways my pursuit of working out and my pursuit of the dream of a family have been intertwined. Through working out and my love of running, I've learned that you must always keep going no matter what gets thrown your way; even when things look bleak and believe me there were some very bleak days.
Sometimes when you feel like giving up, you have a breakthrough, which is exactly what happened to me.
While I will always be grateful for the amazing experience of pregnancy, going through a pregnancy after loss can be difficult. As I write this, I am currently in the third trimester of my “rainbow pregnancy,” and am finally feeling brave enough to share some of the things I didn’t realize that I would experience during this pregnancy.
1. That I would have mixed emotions. Most of the time pregnancy is greeted with an enthusiastic, “Congratulations!” Of course I was excited to be pregnant but these comments carried a lot of baggage with them.
After all, I had heard it before, without the ending that I had anticipated.
For the first few weeks of my pregnancy I felt like a fraud, not wanting to discuss my pregnancy or even trying to hide it.
2. That I would have anxiety before every doctor’s appointment. After my first two pregnancies ended in miscarriage, I got so used to hearing bad news at doctor’s appointments, that just going to the appointments in my third pregnancy gave me overwhelming anxiety.
Fortunately, appointments have been easier to go to the further along I get. But I still schedule them in the afternoon so I don’t have to return to work in case I receive bad news.
3. That the seemingly easy things would be so hard. I’ll probably never forget buying my first pair of maternity jeans. I went to Target because I couldn’t handle walking into a maternity store. I frantically searched through the jeans, praying that no one would approach me.
I couldn’t even bring myself to try on the jeans in the store, so I tucked them in the bottom of my cart and bought them. The anxiety of buying those first pair of maternity jeans was overwhelming. All I could think about is that I might not need them in a few weeks.
4. That I would change my mind so much. Along with having a rainbow pregnancy I’m also high risk, so there is seemingly something always to be concerned about. At times looking ahead feels like an overwhelming task.
I’ve changed my mind from not wanting a registry, maternity photos and a baby shower to wanting all of it. This is very abnormal for me, as I’m usually pretty confident in my decisions. But I’ve learned that it’s okay to change my mind during pregnancy.
5. That pain could send my mind into a panic. By nature, pregnancy is full of aches and pains as a women’s body changes to accommodate a growing baby. Unfortunately the aches and pains I’ve had often threw my mind into overdrive, wondering if this is the beginning of another loss.
6. That I would have nightmares. Sometimes my nightmares involve that middle of the night trip to the emergency room over two years ago when I had my first loss. Sometimes my nightmares involve my current pregnancy. Even as wonderful as pregnancy is, it’s also a trigger that brings back painful memories and current fears even when I’m sleeping.
7. That I would feel alone. I’m sure that most pregnancies contain some sort of loneliness, but being pregnant after loss left me in a strange place. I didn’t feel like I could happily join the other expectant mothers. For weeks, I watched several pregnancy announcements appear on my social media feed, yet I felt terrified to share my own. ‘Un-telling’ people that I was pregnant was one of the worst experiences of my life and I didn’t want to subject myself to that again.
8. That I would learn that there is no right or wrong way to feel. My feelings are often complicated and sometimes conflicting. I’ll feel overwhelming happiness which then turns to sadness. I’ll experience great joy only to be greeted with intense fear. Sometimes these feelings change within in the matter of seconds or happen within the same moment. Instead of trying to understand my conflicted feelings, I’ve learned to accept them. You don’t have to feel one way or another.
9. That I would find an amazing support community. Even though I would never wish pregnancy loss upon anyone, I have found the most amazing support people because of my losses. I admire these brave and beautiful women. They have been an inspiration to me and have continued to support me when I’ve needed it the most.
This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post, January 16, 2017.
Yes, I'm still at it: exercising while pregnant! Even if that exercise is more like waddling, I'm still trying to keep moving as much as I can. I've been trying to CrossFit at least 2-3 times per week and I've been wearing a heart rate monitor to keep track of my exertion. At this point in my pregnancy I have to modify most exercises. Everything has become much more difficult including housework, so I'm finding that I need to be more mindful of my
I don't have any pictures of me working out from the past few weeks, but I do have this picture of me walking around the Phipps Conservatory. At this point I totally count walking as exercise! I had to take a few breaks during this tour as my feet tend to swell and hurt a bit.
I have had a few people ask me how long I plan to work out leading up until delivery. My answer is that I don't know, but I would just like to work out for as long as I can. I take my pregnancy day by day and I figure that one day either my doctor or my body will tell me to stop working out!
Overall exercising during pregnancy has been going really well for me. I'm not nearly as active as I use to be, but it still feels great to get workouts in. The days I work out, I sleep better (even now as it's becoming more difficult to sleep) and my anxiety is less prevalent.
It seems hard to believe that I have less than 12 weeks to go! Hopefully all this exercise will pay off! :)
Anyone that knows me, knows that I have a deep love for running and the city of Las Vegas. I did get married there, after all! When I saw that Vegas.com was sharing blogs about safely running in Las Vegas, I had to put one together. How could I not? When I get the chance to run in Las Vegas, well it might as well be heaven on earth for me! Here are a few tips for getting a safe workout while visiting Sin City!
Run With a Buddy
Running with a buddy is the best way to stay safe when you run. More than likely you are visiting Las Vegas with a significant other, best friends or your co-workers while on a business trip. Try to get one of them to join you on your run! Sight-seeing while on foot is always better with a friend. Plus you’ll want someone to take photos of you in front of those famous Vegas landmarks!
Beat the crowds and hit the pavement early to enjoy all that Las Vegas has to offer. In my opinion the best time to run Las Vegas is early morning. You’ll have the entire Strip to yourself. You’ll also be beating the onslaught of afternoon heat which can be quite brutal.
Stick to the Strip
Sure, while usually sticking to running one road would be boring, that’s just not the case in Las Vegas! The Strip provides wide sidewalks with ample space for running, along with spectacular scenery. Many of the street crossings also involve stairs which will get your heart rate going!
Even if you are running in the cooler part of the day, or temperatures don’t seem high remember that you are still running in a desert. Be sure to hydrate before you head out for your run and even take a bottle of water with you. You may be surprised how much more water you may need than when you are at home.
If you can’t find a running buddy and don’t feel comfortable venturing out on your own, there are still plenty of ways to get in a workout. Many hotels in Las Vegas offer a workout facility for a small fee. If you don’t want to go that route, you can also do a workout in your hotel room using only your bodyweight; think push-ups, sit ups and squats!
Today marks the 3rd birthday of Lunges, Long Runs and Lattes! Seems hard to believe that three years ago this blog started with one simple post about running a half marathon in Las Vegas. At the time I had no idea that this blog would grow into a renewed passion of writing for me!
I've been very busy in my personal life as well. In fact, my personal life has been so busy that I almost forget about this exciting milestone! It seems hard to believe but I have spent half of 2016 pregnant and am expecting our firstborn in the spring!
With this new development the long rungs have been, well, non-existant and the lattes have been decaf! I have, however, still been doing lunges although it's a bit harder to maintain balance when I do them.
I did run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon this year in May and ended up setting a PR in the process. My running days have been put on hold since July but I'm still doing CrossFit in my pregancy. It' been a great way for me to feel strong and keep moving.
I also got the chance to do some hiking in Utah this past spring which was amazing! I would not consider myself a 'hiker' but if you ever have the chance to visit the National Parks in this state, just do it! They are amazing!
This past year I also published my second book of essays entitled, "Don't Forget Me". It's a continuation of my first book, "Don't Forget to Write". With two small books under my belt, I'm hoping to publish a much larger book of essays next year. Sometimes people ask me if I'm still writing my blog and while I am, I have been spending a lot more of my time writing essays and working on my fiction novel. It's a big task for someone who works full time but it's been a very rewarding experience!
Both of my essay books were published in print this year, via the Createspace platform and, well, seeing your work in print is just the coolest thing!
I'm looking forward to all the adventures that await me in my fourth year of blogging! My experiences are the past three years -good and bad- have certainly given me a new perspective which I think have served me well.
I wish you a very Happy Holidays with your loved ones and am looking forward to 2017!
Now that I'm firmly into the second trimester, slow has definitely become the name of the game recently. Even a casual bike ride seems to take a lot of effort for me. During one of our late Autumn bike rides Bobby told me that I was riding at 6 mile per hour. "Great!" I told him, "That's how fast I usually run!"
Sure enough, not too much further down the trail, a runner passed me while I was pedaling along. I guess there is a first time for everything and having someone on foot pass me while on wheels was just a reminder of how much I've slowed down.
Even though in my mind I realize that I am pregnant, it still is surprising to me just how much I've slowed down and how tired I become after doing significantly less activity than I am use to doing! . I keep reminding myself that this is only temporary and I can get back to my weightlifting and running self next year.
For now, I'm just going by what my body tells me to do. If that's only to work out two days a week than so be it. If that's to only takes naps on the weekend without a workout then so be it. For someone who has always looked for a way to challenge themselves physically it's kind of nice to be on a reprieve from goal setting. Although I must admit that I do miss it.
I also had the opportunity to participate in a charity event called WOD for Warriors on November 12th at T2 CrossFit. My coaches were kind enough to modify the movements for me so that I could participate in the event. I sorely miss participating in races and CrossFit events so it was great to participate in this event for a great cause!
So far pregnancy has been pretty smooth sailing with only minor complaints of discomfort; swelling in the hands and feet and finding myself quite tired after simple household chores. Fortunately some of my old marathon training rituals have come back to save me including KT Tape, compression socks and Epsom salts.
It seems hard to believe that I'll be entering the third trimester next month! There were many days when I wondered if I would ever get to this point and sometimes I have to pinch myself. In some ways the pregnancy experience has seemed a bit surreal to me after experiencing much disappointment in the past two years.
I anticipate that working out won't get any easier in the third trimester, but that's okay. My body is doing exactly what it should do - growing a baby boy and that's my main focus right now! Next year we can start thinking about goals again! :)
Till next time!
As I write this I am currently 18 weeks pregnant! Sometimes it seems hard to believe that I am already in the second trimester. I must admit that the first trimester was really difficult as fatigue hit me pretty hard.
I always thought that I would be a very active person during pregnancy but after two losses in the past two years and a high risk diagnosis for future pregnancies my mind was changed. I have to admit when I first heard that my pregnancies would be considered 'high-risk' I had visions of me sitting in bed for nine months.
However, after meeting with my doctor before becoming pregnant I found that I could actually do much more exercise than I thought. In fact my doctor told me that most times bed rest actually does the opposite of what they want it to do, and she encouraged me to continue my active lifestyle..
The fatigue hit me so hard, especially in the beginning of pregnancy. My workout routine during this time consisted of taking a nap after work and sitting on the couch eating potato chips. After two weeks of this routine I decided this really wasn't the approach I wanted to take to pregnancy.
So after two weeks of couch sitting I notified my Crossfit coaches of why I had been missing from the gym. I am very fortunate that I have known my T2 CrossFit coaches Brad and Anna for nearly three years, They also know what I have been through the past few years, so having them as my coaches is really invaluable to me. If it weren't for them I would probably not even CrossFit as my situation has been so complicated. It's great having them to support me!
So we came up with a scaled back version of CrossFit that I feel very comfortable with! Surprisingly CrossFit has become my exercise of choice during pregnancy. I find myself very out of breath when I bike uphill or walk uphill or upstairs but the CrossFit workouts are short workouts where I'm always able to control my breathing.
I have also been dealing with a fair amount of anxiety during this pregnancy and being able to work out has been able to alleviate much of my anxiety. When I first started pregnancy my blood pressure was higher than usual but it has decreased as I continue to work out! I also sleep much better when I'm visiting the gym 2-3 times a week.
So I plan to continue to CrossFit throughout pregnancy as long as I can. I have also decided to give up on running during pregnancy. I haven't even attempted to run as the thought of running while pregnant scares me a good bit. Also my left hip was very unhappy with my personal best at Pittsburgh Half Marathon in May and continued to bother me a month after the race. All these things considered it just seemed like the perfect time to take a break from running,
I must admit that I miss running, especially when I see others running in my neighborhood or my friends posting pictures of their latest race. But winter is coming and I know I won't be as jealous of those early morning cold and snowy runs. I plan to try running again next Spring and Summer.
That is all for now! I hope to have more updates as pregnancy progresses.
This is my first attempt, on writing, about actually writing a book! I would not called myself an expert but I did fumble my way through self publishing and have a few tips to share!
1. Promote your book before it's published! This one seems a bit scary and even perhaps counterintuitive. When I wrote my first short story, 'Seeking Vegas' I didn't advertise it at all. I didn't say one word about it on Twitter, Facebook or my blog. Big mistake. I published and the basic reaction was, "You wrote a book?"
I knew I had made a mistake, so when I decided to publish my first book of essays I decided I needed to get the word out early. I created a Smahwords account and setup a pre order for my book. I designed a cover with one of my favorite photographs as the backdrop. Once I had the cover set up I started to promote the book on Facebook, Twitter and my blog.
This was really scary for me because I hadn't even written the book yet! But announcing my book before it's release did two great things for me. The first was it got the word out and hopefully got people excited about my book. The second thing was that it held my feet to the fire so to speak. There was no chance to turn back or second guess my project. I had to deliver the book now. It also gave me a deadline to complete this project. This motivated me to finish my book on time!
So go ahead and promote your book! Even though it's a scary thing to do while you are still working on it, think about how many weeks or months movies promote themselves before the release? It will help spread the word about your project!
2. Hire a editor to proofread your book. The first time I released 'Seeking Vegas' I didn't have anyone proofread or edit it until it was already published. I had a fellow writer take a look at him and he found numerous errors that he said made it difficult to read. I was really disappointed to hear this. I realized that I had made a mistake and in the excitement of publishing my story, I hadn't taken the proper steps to edit my writing.
So for my book of essays I hired an editor to proofread my book. You don't have to spend a ton of money to do this. You may be able to find an English teacher or another writer to review your work. This is well worth every penny! Your book will improve greatly from someone's corrections or input. I know my book improved greatly from being edited!
3. Seek input from other writers and friends. I personally don't believe in writing in a vacuum. I like to seek out input from my friends and other writers on my essays and storylines. Sometimes it gives me an idea to write another essays. Also, not every essay I write is great and included in my books. I like to see which ones are well received and include them in my book. Having other people read these essays before I decide what to include is a great way to figure out what should be included.
4. Keep Writing! As soon as I publish one book, I start working on the next! One great analogy I've heard about writing is that, 'a homerun is rarely hit on the first at-bat'. That can be very for writing. Many authors struggle for years before becoming well known. While as a self-publishing author you will need to promote your book, don't lose sight of your writing, which is your main purpose. Also, the best way to build up an audience is to produce more writing!
Hopefully these few tips help while you are writing your book. Don't be afraid to make mistakes! I know that I have made plenty of them myself and continue to learn as I go! What about you? What have you learned along the way?
'Don't Forget to Write' giveaway on Goodreads
Between September 20th and October 20th I'll be giving away three signed copies of my book, 'Don't Forget to Write' on Goodreads! To enter the contest click on the image below. The giveaway is free to enter but you must have a Goodreads account!
Author: Sarah Warman
I like to run, take pictures and write. I've combined all three in this blog.