Category Archives: Pregnancy

I Feel Pregnant

Originally posted to the anonymous pregnancy blog August 1, 2008.

I’ve heard stories of women who claimed they knew the instant they conceived. I did not have this flash of insight. In fact, I’ve been fairly convinced that the three positive pregnancy tests have been the result of some huge misunderstanding. I just didn’t feel pregnant. Today, I had my first bought of morning sickness. I feel pregnant now. However, I have good news: Morningstar Veggie Patties don’t taste bad coming back up.

Exercise DVD Mini Review: The Perfect Pregnancy Workout

Originally posted to the anonymous pregnancy blog July 30, 2008.

I love the concept of exercise videos. They’re cheap compared to a gym, convenient, and can be done in the privacy of one’s home. However, many exercise videos require way too much coordination for my needs (I’m sorry, I can’t dance even if you try dressing it up as exercise). Before I was pregnant, I had finally figured out the ideal video combination for my daily workouts. I’d alternate exercises every other day between Kathy Smith’s Great Buns and Thighs Step Workout and a combination of Pilates Weight Loss Workout for Dummies, Total Body Toning One Minute Workout and Self’s Firm Flat Abs. This combination has taken me years to perfect. It gives me a decent workout without requiring too much coordination on my part. Yes, it’s repetitive but podcasts were invented to keep exercisers entertained :-)

While the Kathy Smith video seems like it’ll work with modification for as long as I have the energy, I wasn’t sure about the other three videos. Particularly later when I need to start avoiding exercises on my back. This meant that I needed to start looking for alternatives. As one commenter on Amazon stated, it seems like most pregnancy videos were created in the 80s. There are quite a few newer yoga themed pregnancy videos. However, yoga and I don’t get along. With great trepidation, I checked out several pregnancy related fitness DVDs from my library to preview. One was yoga based, two were pilates based, and then one was titled Perfect Pregnancy Workout. The yoga and pilates videos I ruled out fairly quickly. However, I really enjoyed the Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVD.


  • Very easy to follow, doesn’t require much coordination
  • Well balanced workout
  • Shows beginner, intermediate, and advanced modifications
  • Doesn’t require much specialized equipment (weights and steps are optional for the intermediate to advanced levels)
  • The instructor makes a pregnant belly look sexy (okay, maybe just in my view but I’ll take any encouragement I can get :-) )


  • Not much transition time
  • No real breaks for water

I’ve ordered it from Amazon and hopefully will get it soon as I had to return the library’s copy.


Originally posted to the anonymous pregnancy blog July 26, 2008.

I lied to my mother-in-law. Thursday night I had just settled down to watch the first part of Laugh and Learn about Childbirth when my mother-in-law, S, called. My in-laws are in the process of moving and she called up to inquire if I wanted something that they were trying to get rid of. Jaeger’s mother can talk on the phone for hours (very handy when I need company as I clean the house). Just when I was trying to decide if she could hear me if I started munching on Chocolate Covered Ginger, she asks me as an after-thought, “you’re not pregnant, are you?”

All visions of chocolate ginger fled my head but they were not replaced with any other coherent thoughts. Unfortunately, Jaeger was gone and I didn’t want to break the news to his mother without him present (plus, we agreed to wait at least until week 6). I murmured something about our official plan not calling for me to be pregnant quite yet. This is true, we’re a month early. However, I’m quite sure in her head she heard me say, “I’m not pregnant.”

Now I’m feeling incredibly guilty about lying to her but what else I could do? Hopefully she won’t hold this against me when we make the grand announcement and she starts counting backwards . . .

BTW, the Laugh and Learn about Childbirth DVD is very informative. I’m sure they cover all this stuff in normal birthing classes but it’s always nice to hear another viewpoint. Everyone seems to emphasize slightly different areas so I like being able to get information from as many sources as possible.

Really Pregnant

Originally posted to the anonymous pregnancy blog July 24, 2008.

My concentration has been ruined. From first grade through high school my parents enrolled me in piano lessons. I enjoyed it quite a bit. However, my parents informed me countless times that my payment for these lessons is to play whenever I’m needed. As a result, I now am an accompanist once a month at church. I always have great intentions of picking out my music early and faithfully practicing but somehow this never happens. I play this week and I have picked out my music but the songs are very rough around the edges. I promised myself that I would practice for at least 1 1/2 hrs tonight.

My phone rang about half way through practicing. It’s the doctor’s office with my test results. The Rubella and Cystic Fibrosis tests came back with good results (immune and negative, respectively). In addition, it turns out I’m really pregnant (a hCG of around 900 mIU/ml). After two positive home pregnancy tests and no period this month, I’m not actually surprised. However, somehow it makes it more official when the doctor’s office confirms the pregnancy.

My next doctor’s visit is scheduled for the first full week in August where I’ll get an ultrasound. I had no idea they did ultrasounds so early in a pregnancy . . .

In any case, I’m now too jittery to finish praciticing.


Originally posted to the anonymous pregnancy blog July 22, 2008.

I’ve spent the last two years gradually becoming more active in order be as healthy as possible when I’m pregnant. Thus, I find it a little ironic that several of the habits I created to lay a healthy foundation for my pregnancy are now forbidden because of that same pregnancy.

The first problem is that my doctor says I shouldn’t “linger” above 10,000 feet. For most of the US, this probably isn’t much of a problem. However, in Colorado, many of the good hiking trails start at 10,000 feet. My husband and I were planning on taking an anniversary trip backpacking this August but that no longer seems feasible. I can’t help but feel he’s annoyed at the restrictions but there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it at this point.

Second, apparently I’m suppose to keep my heart rate fairly low while exercising. My doctor told me I should keep my heart rate in the 140-150 bpm range. I was sure that I had heard it was okay to keep my heart rate under 160 bpm so when we went hiking this weekend (at under 10,000 ft) that’s what I targeted. My heart monitor has a nifty feature where it’ll start beeping if I exceed my max target heart rate. I couldn’t believe how fast a little hill could put me near the limit. I felt like an old women forcing myself to slowly plod up and taking several breaks during the climb. The upside is we still managed to hike around 28 miles in two days.

After I got home this weekend, it occurred to me that I really should double check my memory of 160 bpm being okay. Apparently I was imaging things. I couldn’t find a single resource indicating it was okay to go above 150. However, it appears that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is no longer recommending that women stay under 140 bpm. Instead, they suggest you are okay if “you are able to talk normally while exercising” (Exercise During Pregnancy). Personally, I find this a little too nebulous for my tastes. I also found an interesting position statement from The Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine that was updated in March this year about exercise and pregnancy. It suggests that you use the Rating of Perceived Exertion scale to determine the exercise level that’s appropriate for you. Again, I don’t like perceiving things, I like facts.

I come from a family with a history of obesity and I’m terrified that I’m going to gain tons of weight while I’m pregnant. Obviously, I expect to gain weight but I want to keep it within the recommended guidelines. I’d really like to find a personal trainer that’s certified for working with pregnant women so they can tell me what parts of my exercise routine need to change. However, I’m having trouble finding anyone that looks qualified in my area.

I suppose this is one of many things I’ll have to feel out as I go along.

The Story So Far

Originally posted to the anonymous pregnancy blog July 21, 2008.

Note: this post talks about getting pregnant so if you’re reluctant to read about the physical logistics of this, you might want to skip this entry.

In Thanksgiving of 2005, we discovered that my mother had misunderstood our procreation plans. As a result, she was breathlessly waiting for us to announce that we were spawning. I was horrified by this idea as The Plan put this event about three years into the future. As soon as we got home, Jaeger and I immediately formalized The Plan and posted it on his website where all our friends and family could read it. People keep trying to say that you can’t plan when you get pregnant. I will admit that trying to get pregnant is not always the easiest thing to do. However, in this era, avoiding pregnancy is fairly simplistic as long as you can follow directions.

In late 2006 I decided it was time to start researching pregnancy. I want to give my child the very best start in life I can. As a result, I knew that I should probably make some lifestyle changes and I believed that it would be easier to change my habits before I became pregnant. I’ve never smoked or regularly consumed either alcohol or caffeine. However, I was overweight and had a sweet tooth that was out of control. Over the last two years I’ve gradually shifted my eating habits to healthier fare and resumed my daily exercise habit which had faltered since I left college.

I also started checking out from my library every book I could find about pregnancy and nutrition. No doubt the staff were convinced I was trying very hard to conceive. However, whenever I was tentatively asked if I pregnant I just told them I was an obsessive researcher. I’m not sure they believed me, especially since I don’t drink and it seems only pregnant women don’t drink by choice.

In early 2008 I decided it was time to interview obstetricians. I am not a very social person and the thought of talking in real life to people terrified me. However, every book I read said I needed to interview several obstetricians before choosing one. Dutifully I drew up a short list based off who my insurance would cover and then contacted two of them.

The first obstetrician I interviewed was very nice. Even though I was a little uncomfortable with how busy the group practice was, I assumed that this was standard. Driving home from the office, it suddenly hit me that I was actually seriously considering getting pregnant. I’ve never been very in to children and the thought of having children myself is a little scary.

I interviewed the second obstetrician a couple of days later. While I liked the first one, and would have chosen her if I hadn’t forced myself to find multiple options, I really liked the second one. She was in practice by herself and wasn’t nearly as busy as the first group. Also, I never felt rushed talking to her even though I had literal pages of questions I was asking.

One of my friends had used the fertility awareness method to both successfully avoid pregnancy and then later conceive. While I was a little dubious, I thought it would be interesting to try this out. I had read that most doctors recommended women go off birth control three months before they were planning to become pregnant. I talked to my husband and he agreed to try using condoms for 3 months and then, once I figured out my cycle, try the fertility awareness approach. By this point, we were close enough to our implementation date that it wouldn’t matter if we got pregnant a little early.

This is where the first chinks in my plan started to develop. I went off the pill fully expecting to pop right back into my normal menstrual cycle. After the first month I had no period. In addition, I started feeling nauseous and bloated. I frantically thought back to when I stopped the pill and decided there was the off chance that I was pregnant. I went to Costco and was horrified to discover that pregnancy tests ran about $5/each. I took the test and discovered that I was not pregnant. I was relieved but confused about the nausea. Eventually I discovered that this isn’t terribly abnormal for those going off the pill. Two months went by without my period and I got even more nervous. I started reading anecdotal accounts from women on the internet about how it took them more two years to get back to their normal cycle. This would destroy our carefully-crafted plan. I decided that if I didn’t get my cycle back by the third month, that I would make an appointment to see the doctor. I think my body was teasing me because a week before I was going to call, I got my cycle back.

Since the implementation time for our plan was getting nearer, I decided it was time to schedule a pre-conception visit in order to get on prenatal vitamins and make sure I wasn’t missing anything else important. I was in no hurry so I scheduled the visit for about a month later. I wanted to go on my day off so I didn’t have to explain to my work why I was visiting the doctor.

Over the 4th of July weekend, my husband and I went backpacking. He was amused by the idea of conceiving while backpacking and so we agreed to have unprotected sex once even though I hadn’t been to my preconception visit yet. I was feeling fairly confident that in the previous two years I had discovered the obvious things I should watch out for before becoming pregnant. Plus, Murphy’s law seemed to dictate that only teenagers or those trying to avoid getting pregnant did so on the first time they had unprotected sex.

The day of my pre-conception visit Jaeger went to the appointment with me. We asked a couple more questions and she prescribed me prenatal vitamins and gave me samples of an algae DHA supplement. I had a little cramping and blood the next morning but ignored it. We were planning on going camping the next week which coincidentally lined up with when I should have my next period. By the time Friday evening rolled around, I was starting to suspect I might be pregnant since my period hadn’t appear yet. However, I had only had two regular periods since going off the pill so it seemed possible that my body was just hiccuping again.

I had read that in order to get the best results, one should take pregnancy tests in the morning. I woke up at 4:30 am and decided that was as good a time as any to see if I was pregnant. I trudged through the dim light to the outhouse and took the test. For the record, it’s a little hard to be sure one is aiming correctly while sitting on an outhouse seat with a small headlamp for illumination. This particular test showed one line for a negative result and two lines for a positive result. For some reason, I wasn’t terribly surprised when the test said I was pregnant. However, I wasn’t entirely sure I had taken the pregnancy test correctly. After all, when used in real life instead of a tightly controlled lab, the test was only 98.2% accurate.

I placed the test back in its foil and trudged back to the tent. I briefly considered waking up Jaeger to tell him that I was pregnant but then decided he might not be suitable excited to learn this before five in the morning. So, I tried to go back to sleep. I dozed in and out my mind insisting that somehow I had managed to take the test wrong. At one point, I dreamed that the pregnancy test had returned five lines and Jaeger and I were puzzling over the instructions together trying to figure out what the significance of five lines could possibly be.

A little before seven Jaeger started making waking up noises and once I saw his eyes open I grabbed the pregnancy test and held the results before his eyes. He was very excited. I spent the rest of the weekend not entirely believing the results.

One of the first things I did after getting back to civilization was buy another 3-pack pregnancy test kit. This morning I took the test and verified that according to it, I was pregnant. I called my doctor’s office and requested that she request a “real” pregnancy test to make everything official. I took it this afternoon and am not exactly sure when I’ll hear back. However, at this point I believe we can safely assume that I’m pregnant. According to the calculator on the Mayo Clinic’s site, this means that our child will be born around March 26, 2009.

At this point, we aren’t telling anyone we know that I’m pregnant. I don’t want to have to explain to everyone that I’m no longer pregnant if I miscarry. We plan to tell our immediate family at the 6 week mark and then everyone else after 12 weeks.