Monthly Archives: July 2012

Comparing Pregnancies

I was warned by my OB during my first pregnancy that all pregnancies are different. She wasn’t just referring to pregnancies of various women, she also meant that the same woman can have very different pregnancies.

Here are just a few of the big difference I’ve been experiencing:

Morning Sickness:
Pregnancy 1: Had nausea but no vomiting for a few weeks in the first trimester. I survived on saltines.
Pregnancy 2: Extreme nausea followed by vomiting. There were a couple of weeks where I couldn’t hold anything down except potatoes and white rice.

Energy:
Pregnancy 1: Exhaustion in first trimester but then felt great once I entered the 2nd trimester.
Pregnancy 2: Exhaustion ALL THE TIME. Holy balls, I’m tired.

Fitness:
Pregnancy 1: Worked out at least 5 days a week that always included at least 30 minutes of non-stop cardio (either running or elliptical). I was jogging at least 30 minutes non-stop until 2 weeks before I gave birth.
Pregnancy 2: Did you see my comments about energy? Granted, a lot of this has to do with scheduling now that we have a toddler so I’m not able to get to the gym first thing in the morning 5 days a week (just 2 right now). And I can’t seem to jog non-stop for extended periods of time. The best I can eek out now is jogging 1 mile then walking 1/4 mile. I try to jog for a total of 3.25 miles.

Weight Gain:
Pregnancy 1: I gained a total of 23 pounds.
Pregnancy 2: Obviously I still have a ways to go but based on my 14 week weigh-in, I’m 3 lbs ahead of where I was last time. This shocked me due to my extreme sickness in the beginning… but then I remembered how little I was working out and how much I’m grazing now.

Belly:
Pregnancy 1: I don’t think my belly actually “popped” until about 17 weeks. I just looked thick in the middle for awhile.
Pregnancy 2: I’d say my belly “popped” at 10 weeks. THIS IS F’N CRAZY.

Pain:
Pregnancy 1: I didn’t experience any real physical discomfort until I got quite large (towards the end of my 2nd trimester). I had issues with sciatica.
Pregnancy 2: I’m achy all the time although I think this is just attributed to my low energy. I’ve had my back “go out” twice already (I’m currently experiencing some serious issues).

The other thing about this pregnancy is that I’m already seeing how baby #2 is getting jipped. Before I had posted my exciting pregnancy news all over Facebook, I had printouts of the sonogram all over my desk and documented my belly growth every week (in The Belly Book).

For this pregnancy? I haven’t posted anything on Facebook (although that has more to do with my general distaste for FB these days). I haven’t posted any sono pics at my desk (although they’re on my refrigerator!). As for a belly book? Ha!

Granted, I’ve been under an extreme amount of stress this past month with my dad dying and dealing with caring for my mother (that is a post for another day). So maybe some of the exhaustion and pain is related to the stress.

And now for some recent pictures of Annmarie…
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Annmarie was trying to climb up this structure but it just looks like she’s surfing.

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This was taken by the Vietnam War Memorial in DC. It looks like she’s having a “moment” with the statue.

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She really enjoys climbing into the toy box at my mom’s house. I don’t get it.

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Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds

A Change in View

About 2 months ago, my view looked something like this…

Hello feet!  Hello knees and thighs!

But right now my view looks more like this…

At least I can see the tips of my feet.

I will lose sight of my feet (and the ability to touch my feet!) completely by January 2013.

(btw – in order to take the photos above, I had to sort of hunch over in the first photo to flatten my belly a bit.  In the 2nd photo, I’m just standing straight.  Yowza.)

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When a Friend Loses a Parent

I’m going to warn you – I’ve been told that losing a parent can leave you on an emotional rollercoaster.  I seem to have been stuck in “angry” for quite some time now.  I mean this blog post with all due respect and to truly offer some insight on how to navigate the waters of a friend in mourning.

What NOT to do:

  1. Compare the loss to that of a grandparent (unless the grandparent acted as a parent to you).  I recognize that it still hurts to lose a grandparent (I’ve lost them all) but it is SO MUCH different to lose a parent.  Trust me.  The pain is much different and if you’re an adult, you will also be dealing with the closing of an estate.  IT IS SO MUCH DIFFERENT.
  2. Say “you are in my thoughts and prayers“.  I’m totally guilty of saying this myself (although I usually just say “thoughts” since I’m not the praying kind) but nearly 80% of the correspondence you will receive from well meaning people will be that very statement.  You will come to hate it.  When one of my friends loses a parent, I will say (or write) to them:  “Damn.  That really sucks.  Let’s go drink.”  I also welcomed messages with some comic relief.
  3. Avoid them.  I know it is hard to reach out to someone when you know they’re in pain.  You don’t know what to say (especially if you’ve never been in that position before) and you’re just sort of concerned about bothering them.  Bother them.  Call them.  While I didn’t necessarily want to talk to EVERYONE after my dad died, I was truly touched by the people that called me.  If I didn’t want to talk, I’d let it go to voicemail.  But just the act of calling was truly touching.  While texts, emails and cards are also acceptable, I will tell you that a phone call meant so much more to me.  And depending on the level of your relationship, Tweets and Facebook messages are also nice (but reserved for internet friends and not so close acquaintances).
  4. Say “let me know if there is anything I can do“.  Don’t put the onus on ther mourner.  Just say, “hey – when are you around this week?  I’m bringing dinner over.” or “I’d like to watch your child this week so you can [do whatever].  What day is good for you?”  Offer something.  In my case, I needed people to visit my mom and I’ve had some very good friends do so.  I’ve also had some nice offers for lunch and a movie.  These are all things appreciated!  Don’t make the mourner reach out to you – reach out to them!

And this is something that won’t necessarily happen to everyone, but if your friend is feeling extreme guilt or sadness for not being around when their parent died?  Don’t…

5.  Say they waited until you left to die.  Maybe this brings comfort to some but it just made me angry.  My dad died of a ruptured aneurism.  He didn’t will himself to live long enough for me to leave the hospital.  It was just coincidental that it ruptured after I left.  Please stop saying it.

What you SHOULD do:

  1. Go to the funeral service.  Again, the days leading up to my dad’s service were a bit tough for me.  I didn’t really want to see or talk to anyone the day of and sort of dreaded it.  But when I was at the service?  I was really appreciative of the people that came.  I had friends that I hadn’t seen in a VERY long time show up.  Friends that I don’t keep in regular contact with showed up.  Friends that drove over an hour (in some cases 2 hours) showed up.  Granted, there are situations where you can’t come (like you’re away on vacation or live in another country – I totally understand) but if you’re in the area, make an effort to go.
  2. Take them out.  I’ve gone out with a few friends since my dad died and the outings, no matter how small, have offered me a great relief.
  3. Check in with them post-funeral.  I had a friend point this out when she called… she said she knew that a lot of people will offer support the days following a death and up until the funeral but then will drop off afterwards.  Don’t do that.  Stick around!  You don’t have to call all the time but it is still nice to hear from friends.

So this is just my list.  I’m sure lists vary by person.  I had a good friend tell me that she wasn’t sure how to approach me during this time.  I admit that I can be a bit standoffish when it comes to feelings.  I tend to close myself off from people when I’m upset.  So with that said, I am trying to be understanding of friends that didn’t really reach out.  Right now I am so incredibly disappointed in them and have written them off – but is that just my roller coaster parked in anger talking?

These posts will be more upbeat going forward.  I’m not mopey all the time (although I still tend to cry when I look at photos of my dad).  I may also post some helpful tips on closing an estate because it is an awful process.

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