Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend Morning Sickness

Sorry to keep posting about how sick I am, but what can I say?  It's the biggest thing going on right now.

This weekend, after a great Thanksgiving dinner with family, my husband and I went camping.  Who goes camping when they're pregnant, you may ask.  Well, we tried to go camping about six weeks ago, but I was too ill.  I felt bad, so this was my compromise, and on Friday when we left, I felt great.

On Saturday, after a breakfast of hash browns, spam, and duck eggs (maybe this is where we started to go wrong), we went for a leisurely hike.  Our plan was to walk three miles down the trail, have a little picnic lunch, and wander back.  Instead, we walked out 1.5 miles, stopped for a snack because I felt gross, walked about half mile, stopped for lunch because we realized I wasn't going to make it three miles.  On the way back, I made it maybe a quarter of a mile before I puked it all up.

But, looking on the bright side, my husband now believes me when I say I'm not feeling well.  Huzzah!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Alcohol Free Merlot: FAIL

Here's something I learned at Thanksgiving dinner this year: avoid all pretend wines.

No kidding, you say.  Well, I had fond memories of Sparkling Catabwa from Christmas dinners from my childhood, so I thought maybe they would be worth a shot.  First up: Welch's Sparkling Juice Cocktail.  This one was so sweet it was like drinking Sprite mixed with grape juice concentrate.  Please, don't ever buy this for an adult person.

The real revelation was the Fre Merlot, labeled "alcohol removed."  Surely this would be a step up?  According to the back of the bottle, this stuff is "19% juice."  Maybe when you remove the alcohol, you remove 19% of the wine?  And you have to fill up the rest of the bottle with ... juice?  That's sure what it tasted like.  If you enjoy your merlot with a big shot of Welch's grape juice in it, this might be the drink for you.

Otherwise, no.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Martial Arts + Morning Sickness

I'm not sure why I thought this, but I always figured being pregnant would be easy.  Maybe it's because my own mom never had any trouble being pregnant.  Maybe it's because I have big hips.  I don't know.  But I should have guessed that since very little comes easily to me, this would be no different.

I am currently suffering from pretty terrible morning sickness.  Let's not call it morning sickness, though.  Let's call it what it is: 24-hour sickness.  Simply put, I'm nauceous for most of every day, and then sleepness through most of the night, and if I take a nap during the day to make up for it, I wake up with the worst of the sickness.  It's a big ball of yuck right now.

I went to class last night.  The "What To Expect" book claims that exercise can help with feelings of nausea, so I was very excited to try this out.  Fix me, taekwondo!  I went through the warm up like normal, and it felt good to stretch out.  After that, since the rest of the class was going to be practicing a lot of running and jumping and skipping sparring steps, I stepped aside and practiced forms on my own.

Relegated to the very edge of the mat, I didn't have much room to work with.  I had talked to the instructor about it before class, and he seemed to be on board -- after I assured him that I was capable of working out in my "condition" -- but he didn't bother to make any room for me.  The rest of the class did line drills up and down the mat, so when they came into my little area by the edge, I had to step aside until they went back down to the other end.

But it almost didn't matter, because within half an hour, I was on the verge of throwing up anyway.  The best way I can describe what the morning sickness feels like is that it's like a bad hangover.  I feel gross and icky inside, and all I really want to do is eat french fries and take a nap.  It's been like this for a while now, so I obviously can't give in to those desires all the time.  Working out is ... very different now.  I've never come to class with a bad hangover, and now I can see exactly why: moving around -- the kicks, and even just turning around during forms -- churn up my insides.  Churns them into throw up.  It's like the movements aggrevate my stomach acid or something.

Last night, I tried my best to do forms for half an hour after the warm up.  I didn't quite make it.  After that, I tried to meditate, but the motion-sickness feeling got worse when I closed my eyes.  Finally, I just excused myself from class and drove to a fast food place for some french fries and a vanilla milkshake.  They tasted heavenly and I felt better immediately.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Martials Arts While Pregnant

Because taekwondo includes a wide variety of exercises, I figured it would be pretty easy to modify it for the pregnant body.  Even though my body doesn't look pregnant yet.  It just looks like I gained fifteen pounds.  Fun.

In general, it's really just a matter of avoiding getting kicked in the baby area.  And not falling down.  I hear us pregnant ladies fall dwn a lot.  I haven't fallen down yet, but I have walked into the coffee table at least half a dozen times.  Does that count?

For the kind of taekwondo I practice (WTF/Olympic style), this boils down to:
  • No sparring, not even light contact or no contact, because accidents can happen.  I mean, I was sparring a six year old over the summer and he managed to punch me in the eye.  At least I think that was an accident.
  • No self-defense practice.  It's the whole "don't fall down" thing, I guess.
  • No jumping techniques.  Cuz I might fall!
  • Limited or no sit-ups, ab workouts, or strength training that requires me to be on my back.  Sit ups have been feeling funny lately anyway.  I don't think that part of me is in the same place as it was three months ago.
  • Lots of forms.  These are my favorite anyway, so yay!
  • Lots of stretching.
  • Lots of kicking and punching.
I think I will be able to modify most of the training exercises on the spot during class.  I also plan to work out on my own when necessary.  And, perhaps most importantly, I'm going to give myself a break when I feel like it.  It should help that the weather is a lot cooler now and I won't have to work out in hundred-degree-plus temps anymore (last summer was a tough one).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Exercising While Pregnant

I hope this can become a theme of this blog, because I am discovering that working out while pregnant is a little trickier than I originally thoughtit would be.  I belong to a dojang where I study taekwondo, and since I started seven or so years ago, I have worked out with one woman who was pregnant and heard rumors that there had been another one before I arrived -- so I didn't think it would be a big deal to keep doing martial arts when I got pregnant.  Yes, there are modifications to make, and I will probably go into those in another post, but a lot of it can transfer quite easily.  Forms, my favorite part of taekwondo, are just fine.


A few weeks ago, I went to the doctor to confirm my pregnancy and had an unpleasant conversation with the nurse.  There were about a million forms to fill out and I had to check off all kinds of boxes about my own medical history and that of my family.  One of the questions: what kind of exercise do you do?

I put down everything: martial arts, cycling, walking, jogging, swimming.  The nurse went over my forms with me and when we got to that question, she told me that walking and swimming were just fine.  Martial arts and jogging would need to be modified (I was expecting that).  And then she told me I had to quit riding my bike.  I was shocked, and then she gave me her explanation:

"You don't want to get hit by a car, do you?"

Now, I'll admit that she was right.  I don't want to get hit by a car.  In fact, I would include that item pretty high on a list of things I never want to happen to me.  But what does it have to do with being pregnant?  I mean, let's face it -- I would rather not get hit by a car even when I'm not with child.

My husband helped me buy my first bike shortly before we got married, about three or four years ago.  He loves to bike around town, and we made a habit of biking to dinner, to the movies, downtown, to the bar, anywhere we wanted to go.  I commuted to work by bike about twice a week when I had a job and it was about eight miles each direction.  In all this time -- riding on the road with traffic, riding at night, riding out in the country, riding downtown at rush hour -- I have been hit by a car exactly zero times.

I was a little upset at the nurse's answer, because it was so obviously bullsh*t.  And if she was feeding me garbage about cycling, then I had to face the possibility that everything she told me during that meeting was garbage.  (And since one of the other things she said was that I would "never remember anything" from that meeting, and I can still recall most of it, I don't think I actually believe anything she told me.  I switched to a different practice.)

But dealing with this nurse throws into high relief something I'm learning about being pregnant: there's no way to make everyone happy.  Most non-pregnant people seem to think you should be on the couch with your feet up most of the time, except then you read in all the books about how fat you are going to get if you don't start working out more.  But don't work out too much or you are going to faint and/or end up with a stupid baby or something.  So.  I can't make everyone happy.  I can just do a little research on the things I like to do and try to keep myself and my unborn kid safe.

Whatever I find out in my search, I'll put it here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Black Belt + Baby =

... a black belt a little unsure of what the hell is going to happen next.

I recently found out that my husband and I are expecting a baby, due next June.  We have always talked about having kids and were planning to start trying this fall, so it's not like this is unexpected in any way.  But as I've already discovered, everyone seems to love giving pregnant ladies advice, and since I'm very used to making my own decisions, I'm not exactly sure I'm looking forward to that.

But I'm looking forward to being pregnant and working out at the dojang throughout my pregnancy.  And I'm looking forward to having a baby and bringing him/her/whomever to the dojang with me and my husband.  I guess we'll have to work out who gets to take care of the baby and who gets to work out, but there's plenty of time for that kind of deal-making later.