Pregnancy

Week 31: Rolling with the Punches

I’m literally and figuratively “rolling with the punches” these days.

Baby B is kicking more aggressively than ever and while it doesn’t hurt, it’s a bit more uncomfortable than the adorable flutters and taps from a month ago. I like to imagine Baby in his own swimming pool doing laps, practicing his flip turns, and not intentionally trying to punch me. It’s also funny to see my stomach visibly move when he’s kicking or swimming. It was a little strange and alien-like in the beginning but I’m growing to love this extra movement. All of these signs help tell me that Baby is growing, active and happy in there. Can’t wait to meet our little guy!

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I’m figuratively rolling with the punches because pregnancy throws all kinds of adversity your way, and it’s up to you on how you want to deal with it. I had a lot of practice with this in Ironman training because weird things happen during races and training all the time (3 flats in a row, anyone?!) and you have to adapt and be flexible so you can overcome adversity and maintain a positive attitude. In fact, one of our team mantras in my very first triathlon season was “I Overcome Adversity”. Thanks coaches!

I’ve been very fortunate that I haven’t had any dramatic setbacks, tragedies or anything else major to deal with. Lately, it’s just been dealing with arm soreness after getting the TDap vaccine, charley horses in the middle of the night, seasonal allergies without my traditional medicine to use, sore calf muscles, altered workouts, and cramped airline seats.

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For each of these moments of frustration, I’ve tried to think about Plan B and C. So, when my calf muscles were sore for 4 days after a string of charley horses, I worked on upper body strength training and massage. Or when I couldn’t lift my arm for 4 days because of the vaccine, I switched to running/walking/hiking workouts. It’s no big deal, and these are minor in the grand scheme of things, of course, but it’s all about developing a toolbox so that future events aren’t so dramatic.

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Hiking in the Marin Headlands towards Muir Beach

There are plenty of other examples that I won’t dive into. But I’ve found myself saying “just roll with it”, or reminding myself “you do you” way more often. In other words, this is such a unique time and the decisions I would’ve made a year ago are very different from the ones I would make today. I’m much more gentle, accepting and flexible with myself, the people around me and my environment as a result.

I’m hoping to take some of this “roll with the punches” experience and apply it to parenthood. One of the things I keep hearing over and over from parents is that all babies are different and you have no idea what’s going to happen — good, bad or ugly. Overcome adversity, roll with it, and deal with it the best you can, right?! Because you absolutely can’t predict it or control it.

Mark and I took an infant CPR class yesterday and while it was terrifying to hear all of the things that could happen to Baby B, we’re so happy to have some tools and muscle memory to deal with choking, lack of oxygen and other medical emergencies.

We heard some tips and tricks like: cut grapes and other slippery foods in half, look on the ground for small objects like pennies and pills, call 911 and put them on speaker phone if the baby is blue, use your ‘advice nurse’ if you’re not sure about a rash or something non-life-threatening, never use crib bumpers, never put blankets or other objects in the crib, never take your eye off a baby while he’s in water, never cook with your baby in your arms because burns are much more severe, beware of pieces of saran wrap, check for responsiveness by tapping the baby’s feet, and make sure first responders can easily find your home or apartment.

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I would love to hear more experiences about ‘rolling with the punches’ so please comment below!

Other exciting things that happened in the last few weeks were going back to my hometown in Michigan for a baby shower, going to Seattle for a week for work, and buying a second car.

The hometown baby shower was a lot of fun and full of games, beautifully homemade gifts, and close friends and family. A big thanks to everyone who attended and helped organize the party! One of the things I realized is that out of the ~25 women who attended the party, almost all of them have known me either since birth or since I was a child. That’s 32 years!

I was thinking about Baby B and wondering… who will those people be for him? How can we foster an environment with strong family ties, role models, and people who love him for life? Given we live in a transient city it may be harder than my Midwestern hometown on the friends aspect, but I’d sure like to try.

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That’s all for now. Next on my to-do list is to properly thank everyone for the beautiful gifts, take a couple more classes, start transitioning work before maternity leave, make a hospital bag packing list, and research pediatricians. If anyone has any advice on what to pack for the hospital, or what you love about your pediatrician, let me know! Thank you. 🙂

 

 

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