Monthly Archives: November 2010

Treating Sciatica During Pregnancy

I will say it loudly this time:

SCIATICA CAN SUCK IT.

I had a slight reprieve from the Sciatica tingly, on fire butt cheek for a few weeks and now it has sought me out with vengeance. In both cheeks. BOTH OF THEM.

Why God?

I now can find no comfortable sleeping position, meaning that 1:50 A.M. through 3:30 A.M. stars yours truly. Tossing and turning, arranging pillows, attempting to sleep on my back and then giving up out of sheer guilt. The hypnobirthing classes have taught me great relaxation and breathing techniques, but alas, they have not taught me anything about butt cheeks.

I’ve found a couple of  things that help:

Pre-Natal Yoga – I try to do the Zen Mama DVD once a week and then practice the poses throughout the week while watching TV. Unfortunately, I didn’t do any yoga over the Thanksgiving holiday and instead used that time to eat homemade Pecan and Apple Pie. Eating pie is like yoga, but with more sugar, joy and satisfaction.

Ice – Have you ever iced your butt cheek? It’s both terrifying and exhilarating. But it works to provide some temporary relief from the butt cheek on fire pain.

Acupuncture – I’ve been getting acupuncture every few weeks and I’ve noticed that it helps with the nerve pain. I don’t know how it works, but it does.

Massage – Massage seems to help, but it’s a temporary fix. Plus when you are 7 months pregnant asking your husband for a butt massage is not always the wisest move. You know what I’m sayin’? It’s called a mixed message.

Not Laying Down – If only I could sleep standing up. All my Sciatica problems would be solved.

If anyone else has found the cure for this fun pregnancy symptom I would be eternally grateful and I might even stop posting about my butt cheek. Now that would make you happy, right?

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The Second Trimester

Week 15

I was so tired. So, so tired. That’s what I remember about the first weeks of the second trimester. I wasn’t showing yet and hadn’t gained any weight, but I was wearing maternity clothes.

It was about this time that we were hosting a BBQ to celebrate our wedding with the family and friends that couldn’t make it to St. Croix. My parents came into town and we planned on telling them that weekend.

I was so nervous to tell my old fashioned, traditional Catholic parents. My dad’s an engineer. He’s quick with the math. I wrapped up a framed picture of our 10 week ultrasound and we gave it to them as a present. This was a really weak way of telling them, but at the time I didn’t feel like the actual words could come out of my mouth.

My dad unwrapped it. He turned it one way and then the other. My mom looked at it. My dad said, “What is this?” My mom jumped up and embraced Travis and I. My dad still stood off to the side. His face was awash with a look of shock. “Wait for it,” I thought. “Here comes the lecture.” My mom asked how far along are we and then exclaimed how she’s always wanted to be a grandmother. My dad stands off to the side, still silent, but is that a slight tear in his eye? I start to ramble into how Travis and I didn’t know if this would be possible and how happy we are. I start to tear up. Travis pulls me into his side. In this moment I feel like whatever lecture is coming, I can handle it, because I have this amazing man by my side.

My mom asks my dad what’s up. He says, “Well, I’m just so worried about you.” Ahh-I see. He’s launched into Papa Bear mode. He starts asking questions about our doctor. Is she the best in town? Is my thyroid being watched? How am I feeling? Am I lifting anything heavy?

By this point, I start to understand what’s going through his head. We are at the 15 week mark. We’ve made it through those first 12 weeks. Travis and I can now breathe a sigh of relief. For my black and white, fact-based, glass-half-empty- father he’s still processing. Still preparing for the worst.

For the rest of the weekend my parents are ecstatic – making plans to buy ponies and other completely rational baby related purchases.

We call Travis’s mom at the end of the weekend to let her know. She shrieks. She’s so excited and it’s fun to hear that.

I started my new job this week and it was weird to be going public with the news while still having to keep it a secret from my new coworkers. More on that later though.

Week 16

We tell my brother. Trav’s sisters. My grandma. His grandma. My grandpa. We make the phone calls to our closest friends.  And then it’s time for the Facebook announcement. I was torn about this. I knew it wouldn’t take long before a family member or friend slipped up and mentioned something on the public clearinghouse that is Facebook. I loved keeping this a secret and part of me is scared to go public. Plus, making an anoounement like this on Facebook just seems so lame. Is there any way to announce such a sacred thing that really does it justice? We make the public Facebook announcement on Labor Day. Isn’t that ironic?

Weeks 17 -19

Enter hormones. I was so pissed during this time. I broke down sobbing on no less than three occasions. Despite the world knowing that we were expecting, I suddenly felt very alone. I felt mad at and resentful towards Travis.  Like I was the one making all the adjustments to this new body while trying to maintain the same life that I had before getting pregnant. I was so tired. So ridiculously tired.

I had to go on a business trip to Las Vegas. The upside – I had a lot of extra time to sleep. The downside – my coworkers were enjoying all the free trade show booze while I had no good explanation for not drinking. That whole pregnancy thing? Still a secret from the coworkers. (Example: “Are you Mormon?” “Uh, no. Just not drinking right now.”)

I’m dealing with stomach issues. They suck. My All Bran intake increases monumentally.

At Week 19 I start telling my coworkers. My boss already knew, but letting everyone else know was a big relief. And I like I suspected, some of the folks on the Vegas trip already had figured it out.

Week 20

The bump is coming in. I can’t really hide it anymore. This is the week that we find out the baby’s sex. We’re so excited to find out that it’s a boy! I start to feel better. Finding out the sex makes everything more real. I can start envisioning him. I start planning for the nursery and can now look at baby clothes without wondering which type are OK to buy. Because, duh, baby boys should only wear blue.

Weeks 21-24

The hormones start to settle. Now that we know the sex I feel like I can focus and bond with our baby. Now he’s my son and not just the baby. We start bouncing name ideas around. We’re 90% sure we’ve settled on the name, but I want to wait until we see his sweet little face before making the final decision. As we hit the six month mark I’m feeling good and what’s making this time even more special is the fact that we can now see the little guy moving. He pounds and kicks on me all day long. When he’s feeling especially spunky he gives his dad a quick kick to the hand. When he’s feeling spectacularly spunky he likes to give the cat curled up on my lap a few quick Ninja kicks. Just to make sure the cat knows who is in charge.

Enter insatiable hunger. I could eat all day long during this time and never feel full. This kid likes to eat!

Weeks 25-28

I’m getting bigger by the second. Coworkers now announce, “Look at you! You’re really pregnant!” As if I was making this up before. Well, the proof’s in the pudding, baby! There’s definitely a kid in there. I feel good and I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about natural birth. We’re taking our weekly hypnobirthing classes and I’m feeling more and more excited that soon we will meet our baby, hold him, feed him and hear his cries.

The first trimester seemed so long and the second seems to have gone by so fast. I can hardly believe that we are almost at the end/almost at the beginning!

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Thanksgiving Redux

Last year we cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal for three. Neither Travis nor I had ever made a turkey or managed an entire Thanksgiving meal, and I documented that cooking endeavor here (along with a good tip about thawing a frozen turkey).

This year our guest list has grown a bit and we are hosting my parents, my aunt and my 87 year old grandma.

Here’s some fun family trivia:

My mom just had surgery. The kind that messes with your hormones.

My aunt is the classic first child. Bossy. Needs to be in charge. Opinionated. Put her in a busy kitchen with three more first-borns (AHEM – me, my husband and my father) and you’re guaranteed a good time.

My grandma is 87. She doesn’t travel anymore. Except when she is guilted into it by her daughter who just had surgery (AHEM – mom). She also has a preoccupation with her pregnant granddaughter’s weight. Yeah! Bring on the pie, G-Ma!

If you live in the Reno-Tahoe-Sparks-Nevada area and don’t have Thanksgiving plans hit me up. We’d love to have you at the hormonal napalm cocktail at our Thanksgiving meal.

I’ve been planning Thanksgiving since I found out we are hosting. The menu has been posted on our refrigerator and this week I realized, “Holy turkey Batman! Thanksgiving is next week!”

Time to get shopping/prepping/cleaning.

Here’s my menu with links to the recipes:

Appetizers

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms – Travis and I wing this recipe so I’ll post later.
Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup – I’m making this as more of a Thanksgiving lunch. Something to keep us going while we chop/Iron Chef/Pray our way through Thanksgiving.

Main

Roasted, Brined Turkey – I’m planning on using The Pioneer Woman’s Turkey Brine and roasting the same way we did last year.
Smoked Turkey – This is a family tradition and results in the most delectable, moist turkey. I’ll do a complete post on this bad boy.

Sides

Buttermilk Parmesan Garlic Mashed Potatoes – I’m thinking about doing these in the slow cooker to save time and get them out of the way.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts Salad with a Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Sausage Stuffing – This is my recipe that I created last year. It was delish.

Dessert

I could buy these, but I’ve never made a pie and am looking forward to trying this year. Plus grocery stores are open on Thanksgiving. You know, in the event of complete pie catastrophe.

Pecan Pie – I started out with a Cooking Light Pecan Pie recipe and then I was all, “Really? You’re preggo and you’re going to skimp on the Pecan Pie this year?” Huh, no!

Vanilla Bourbon Pumpkin Tart – I’ve got to get my booze in somewhere. Even if the alcohol is cooked out. Plus it takes the Grandma’s edge off. That and her special “lemonade.”

Dreamy Apple Pie – Another Pioneer Woman Recipe. I heart her recipes and her site.
This year’s menu is a little more complex than last year’s, but it’s not every day that your 87 year old grandmother, bossy aunt, recently hospitalized mother, kitchen Nazi father, and adorable extremely rugged and handsome husband gather for  a meal.

Another fun fact: As of this morning we are preparing for a blizzard! Woo-hoo! Come on out west G-Ma! You’re going to love it!

The Score

My new hobby is reading about birth and while bouncing around the internet the other day I came across this article:

The Score (The New Yorker, October 2006)

If you’re interested give it a whirl. The author is a surgeon and gives some great history about birth and facts about the current obstetrics culture in the U.S. What I like the most is that he presents the information in a fairly balanced way – not claiming that any way is the right way. Which is more than I can say for most of the sites I come across.

I Llllll you

This morning I was thinking about the first time Travis and I shared those three little words.

The thing that always blows me away is how close I came to not saying it. How close I came to not letting this beautiful chapter of my life unfold.

We were standing in the kitchen of the apartment that he shared with two friends of his (girl friends) and he was cooking dinner. We did this fairly often at the beginning of our relationship. Trading nights of cooking, walking Daisy dog and watching Jeopardy. Slowly sliding into domestication while totally in denial.

He was probably making something with a lot of cheese. He knew the way to my heart early on. At some point, we started joking and teasing each other. He said, “Why do you hate me so much?”

I said, “I don’t hate you. I llll……like you a lot.”

We looked at each other, both of us certain of what had almost come out of my mouth. He smiled. I blushed. And then we acted like it had never happened. For months.

I can’t remember how long we had been dating at this point. It had to have been only a couple of months and after being burnt in the past I was still convincing myself that there way no way I loved this guy. We were just dating. Totes nonchalant. Completely casual. I didn’t care if he called. Definitely didn’t care.

Our First Camping Trip. Excuse the Camo shorts. Or don't. I'm from NV afterall.

A few months later we went on our first camping trip with a bunch of his friends. I wasn’t too excited. One of his friends (and his wonderful wife) had a habit of asking inappropriate questions and embarrassing me in front of people I had just met. Travis promised to protect me from this so I agreed to go. And on the second night of our camping trip, each of us bundled up in a sleeping bag in a tent full of dirt from the day’s earlier dust storm, I said it.

And he said it back.

And that was it.

A month later we decided to move in together. A year and a half later we were engaged. A year and a half after that we were married. And in 13 weeks (give or take) we will welcome a baby boy into this family that happened because I let those three little words fly.

So today’s lesson is to take chances. Love completely. And say it. Say it often. Say it loudly. Say it because you mean it.

Because I’m feeling sappy today I want you to share your I lllll you stories with me.