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Everything posted by SkyGirl

  1. Henlo frens! It's been a weekend of beautiful weather and lots of rest - yesterday was a perfect fall day, with bright sunshine, low humidity, and cool breezes; today was warm and gray and rainy. Yesterday we went to the grocery store and then mostly spent time hanging together or doing online things with friends. Today we missed church because Eamon hurt his arm unpacking some boxes and I didn't feel up to driving, and I didn't want to drive either, so we watched the sermon online, then took a walk (which had to be very slow because I had horrific runner's itch and wanted to claw my own legs off ). It was lovely to get lots of physical rest and down time, and at the same time, I realized that I'm feeling lonely and not spending enough time with friends; so I talked with Eamon about it and he wants to support me in getting out of the house more and seeing friends in person. ❤️ I also did some fiction and nonfiction writing this weekend for the first time since before getting pregnant, and it felt really good. I think I'm going to take the leap and start a Substack, even though I'm feeling a lot of perfectionism paralysis about it (I won't update it consistently, I don't have anything interesting to say, I don't have any special knowledge to share, etc.). I think it'd be nice to start doing a little essay-style writing again, though, and I can link it to my Instagram so I don't let yet another platform die in the pursuit of something new. Done that a few times now, thinking a new platform will somehow provide motivation that the previous one didn't. Linking it to Instagram will also push me to start taking photos again, which I also haven't done much this summer. Ultimately, I don't have to do something perfectly or forever to enjoy it now, and it's also okay to publish some writing and not make a big splash with it. I want to write because I love to write, and that's enough. My big challenge for this week is, ironically, sleeping. I've been having a lot of hip pain making it really hard to sleep at night, I think partly from sitting on the couch too much, partly from my ligaments being looser. I'm going to be experimenting with different things this week in hopes of finding some combination of things that helps - so far I've tried stretching before bed (didn't help) and a knee pillow (didn't help, but I also only used it for a couple of hours because it was hard to roll over with it between my knees). I need to try standing more, wearing my belly band, sitting in different chairs, and maybe some relaxation techniques or asking Eamon for a massage. Movement is important but I won't be moving well if I'm not sleeping well. And re: eating, I bought more of those steam-in-bag veggie and grain mixes this week, and I'm really excited to eat them. They're expensive, so I do need to do more cooking and not rely on microwave stuff - but they're getting me fiber and nutrients and I'm happy with that. I also bought some fancy extras like rye-pumpernickel swirl bread instead of plain bread, gouda cheese instead of cheddar, locally grown lettuce, etc. and they've made me actually excited about eating. Again, not a good cost investment every time, but anything that gets me excited about real food is a good thing. I think it will be a good week and I'm hoping for good rest, fun plans, and good energy levels. I hope the same for all you guys too!!
  2. Henlo frens! Today was a good, full day - I slept hard and still woke up exhausted from yesterday (in addition to the TV thing, I also picked up some new computer equipment for my home office, and I had some muscle soreness today from all the lifting and bending I had to do). Work was also kind of tiring, as I had a lot of last-minute requests pop up and we also had organization-wide network problems all day. But I got a second wind after work and did a bunch of chores, then went outside for a little while, and the cooler weather and beautiful sunset gave me a big surge of well-being and peace. Amazon Prime was streaming the Thursday Night Football game, so I watched a few minutes until Eamon came home, then we enjoyed some ice cream together and I'm watching him play "Mass Effect" while I do some online shopping and feel Bean kick. I'm tired, but the good kind. I ate mostly leftovers today and consequently didn't get many fruits or vegetables, so I'll try to be more mindful of that tomorrow. I did get some gentle walking, bending, going up and down stairs, etc., which is good. Going to possibly do some cat-cow's before bed. Tomorrow's Friday!! Love you guys!
  3. Thanks guys, you're the best. ❤️❤️ I'm still a little upset about it today, but I did get some nice notes from coworkers today saying I handled everything really well and they were proud of me; and words of affirmation are always an excellent salve for hurt feelings. Somebody's always going to have an inappropriate mouth, and honestly this is just the beginning anyway. Next thing I'll be getting comments on my parenting at the grocery store or remarks that I "have my hands full" if we have more kids than just Bean. So ... it's a good time to grow a thick skin. (And yeah, that was also suuuuuper inappropriate and it was validating to see my teammates gasp in horror when I told them the story. ) I will look at Walmart and Target! I've honestly not been super satisfied with the higher-end stuff I've bought and I'm totally happy to go with what's inexpensive and comfortable. How is your back feeling postpartum, btw?
  4. Hey friends! Super quick brain-dump post because I'm already past my bedtime, but today was A Lot - I had the presentation at work and it went great (I found an outfit that I felt good in; it was a black maternity dress with a black tee knotted over the top, and a nice autumnal burnt-orange cardigan over the top), but it also was a bit of a wild ride for the ol' body image. I got to my office and made it over to the TV studio without running into anyone I knew; when I got to the studio, a couple of coworkers whom I consider friends greeted me and quietly congratulated me on my pregnancy because they'd heard from one of the bosses. Let me note that neither of these people stared at my belly, commented on my appearance, or anything of the sort; just simply congratulated me, said it was exciting, and moved on. I was feeling a little shy but it was nice to see them and they were very kind. Then, however, I stepped into the part of the studio where we were filming; and our guest speaker (someone whom I knew as a professional acquaintance but had not seen or interacted with in several years) took one long look at me and asked very loudly, in front of the whole production crew, "ARE YOU PREGNANT???" He proceeded several times throughout the show and luncheon afterward to comment inappropriately on my appearance and loudly congratulate me in front of other people without my bringing up the subject. And ... I have to admit that I WAS UPSET. Part of that was obviously because - who does that??? Why would you think that was okay??? - but also because it really threw in my face just how insecure and fragile I'm feeling around my new identity as a mom. I had a great time working in the studio and it was awesome to be on camera again, but I also came home feeling upset, vulnerable, uncomfortable, and angry. 😕 I want to make sure to talk about the impostor syndrome part of my discomfort in therapy next week, and also do some journaling / mantra work to remind myself that I really do have just as much right to be a mother, to take up space with my body (and belly!), and to grow and evolve as other people do. ❤️ (And also ... honestly, just don't bring up someone's pregnancy in front of other people unless they start the conversation. Like, I know I shouldn't have to say that and you guys know it. But ... geez. Being on the receiving end of that kind of behavior feels ICKY as HECK.) Running late for bed but I just wanted to vent a little. Love you guys!!
  5. SERIOUSLY, why are so many maternity clothes so tight and clingy?? I bought some dresses from Old Navy a few weeks ago, and they were already very tight then and I had only just started popping - my belly has grown exponentially the last couple of weeks and I truthfully don't think I'll be able to wear them for more than a few weeks more. Even their maternity leggings are not very roomy or stretchy and absolutely won't last me into the third trimester. I'm probably going to just wear muumuus and be done with it. Oh my gosh, that's awful!! 😮 I'm having a lot of hip pain and juuuuust starting on the back pain, but I'm especially noticing that my glutes and quads feel very weak and shaky. I'm not sure if that has to do with ligaments loosening, but it's unnerving. The belly band at least helps shift the weight so I don't feel quite so ... heavy?? Mmmm that's an excellent tip! I've been getting spinach in smoothies and on sandwiches (I'm craving all things dairy these days, so lots of cheese and tomato sandwiches with greens), and some fruits that my IBS normally can't tolerate are back on the table, like apples and berries - so I'm really enjoying those. But yeah, I'm still going too heavy on the carbs and need to add more variety back in! YOU ARE SO KIND AND HELPFUL, THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS ❤️❤️❤️
  6. Henlo frens! (Since it's been a minute, this account is where I got the "frens" schtick ages ago ) It's been a full week of catching up post-vacation, plus Eamon seems to have brought home some kind of mysterious condition (virus? allergy? other malfunction? still unclear) that is not improving, so we've been alternately working very hard and taking it as easy as possible. On the plus side, we're almost caught up on laundry from our vacation, so that's a good thing! Today I pushed myself out the door for a short 15-minute walk in the rain, which was not especially pleasant and I didn't want to do it, but I did it and I'm glad. Like I said, I wore my new belly band and that felt really different, mostly in a good way - the squeezing pressure on the hips felt amazing, but that also unexpectedly activated different muscles while I was walking than I'm used to, so I felt a lot more burn in my glutes and upper thighs than I usually do (adding to my discomfort and disgruntledness). I'm going to keep wearing it on walks and get used to it, because my belly has really popped this week and I'm already feeling heavy and uncomfortable, and we're not even halfway there yet. I'm also going to attempt to start eating better this week - I checked a couple of pregnancy weight gain calculators yesterday and saw that I am right on the upper edge of where I should be for weight gain this week, or maybe a little heavier; and while my doctor hasn't mentioned it yet and I'm not super worried, I also know I have a family history of gestational diabetes, and I want to start taking that risk seriously. I also am already feeling the strain of the extra weight on my hips and ankles, and I want to try to keep that manageable. Hence, the grudging walk, and making sure I had protein (eggs) with breakfast and not just carbs. This week I have a big work event where I'll be hosting a Q&A with a celebrity visitor (I work in public affairs for a science organization), which will also be livestreamed; and I'm feeling super self-conscious about appearing in front of a crowd with my changing body - so I'm putting a little more thought than usual into what I'm wearing. Make that, I'm overthinking it a bit. I've spent a lot of money on clothes lately, so I'm going to try to make do with what I have, but I'm itching to go looking for something that will magically give me body confidence. I'll let y'all know how it goes! Time to go figure out dinner - I'm thinking potstickers and vegetables? We shall see.
  7. Battle logs are awesome and valid!! I'm so glad you're here!! JEDI hi I was just thinking of you!!! ❤️ I finally got a belly band and strapped it on for my sleepy lil walk this afternoon and HOLY COW did that feel so different!! The hip squeezing feels so good?? And babe isn't big enough to put significant weight on my back yet but my goodness, it felt so good on my pelvis?? And I thought of you and was like JEDI WAS RIGHT (Also swimming is a wonderful idea! They just closed our outdoor pool for the season but I know Eamon has thought about joining a gym to swim in the winter!)
  8. Hi friends! I had no idea this thread was a thing and I'm so excited to find it, even if I'm joining in the last few months of the year! I've read more books this year than any year since before college (my Kindle app says 55 so far!), and while most of them have been terrible, it's felt so good to read fast and for fun again. I'm currently reading a bunch of Amish-themed books, but not the romance novels, for a change - I like Amish romances, but they're usually woefully inaccurate to Amish culture, even bordering on disrespectful; so right now I'm reading some nonfiction biographies by people who left their culture (Crossing Over by Ruth Irene Garrett and Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler). Next up, I found some post-apocalyptic novels that are, weirdly, also about Amish people and how they cope. This absolutely isn't typical reading fare for me but I'm enjoying the rabbit trail. I'm also excited to peruse this thread for ideas on what to read next!
  9. Henlo frens!! I am enjoying an incredible lentil bowl for dinner (microwaveable mix from the grocery store!), and I'm feeling super happy because I was showing Eamon a song on my laptop, and Little Bean started to move and kick - he's still a little young to have actually heard it (apparently most babies can kind of start hearing sounds outside the womb after 23-ish weeks, and he's only 17 weeks), but he might have felt the vibrations since the laptop has a built-in subwoofer. Whether or not it's just wishful thinking, it gave me a big smile! Today was a quiet day - both Eamon and I are still feeling a bit of travel hangover, and Eamon's allergies are pretty severe, so we enjoyed and appreciated the extra day off work (today is Labor Day in the United States, a day to honor the work of labor unions in the 1900's to fight for better working conditions and protections for employees). I thought this morning would be a quiet time to run to the grocery store, and haaaaahahaha was I wrong about that; but I still got what we need for the week and got home before the heat index soared past 100 F (37 C). I did a few minutes of stretches this afternoon, which felt nice, and I also ate my lentil bowl instead of reaching for the sweet breads like I was wanting to do for dinner. Little raindrops of care every day will keep this garden healthy! This week will be very busy as we get back to work after a week off (forgot to mention we're just back from a week-long vacation to celebrate our second anniversary!), plus I have a midwife checkup, therapy, and a buttload of laundry to catch up on. It's also going to be really hot here all week (heat indices in the 100's F / 30's C), so walking outside may not be a great option. But I'm going to try to move a little as I can, keep eating fruits and veggies, and - grimace - drink more water. /sigh/ I think my magnesium citrate water supplement has been helping with restless legs and constipation, but it also tastes pretty gross and I've been struggling to keep up with it. 😕 Going to try to choke it down as I can this week too. Love you guys!! ❤️❤️❤️ Thank you for being here with me!
  10. Yaaaay I'm so glad you're here!! ❤️ Thank you my friend!! I'm so glad you're here! Thanks Ghost!! Our nickname for him right now is "Little Bean" but I may be inspired to call him "Bean Sprout" now Yep, I'm going to hit 17 weeks this week, can you believe it?? ❤️ I'm so glad you're here!! Sending big hugs back!! THANK YOU sweet Shaar!! ❤️❤️❤️
  11. Always remember, gangly ducklings are adorable and everybody loves them!! You are a rock star and I'm fricking proud of you!!
  12. I'm ... I'm the first response??? I don't think this has ever happened before??? 😮 😮 😮 ... more importantly, I absolutely love the tone of this post and I am so excited to see you start thriving again. Here to follow and cheer you on!
  13. Hi friends! My name is Sky, and I used to be fit and active and energetic, and instead am currently pregnant, tired, rapidly gaining weight and racked with anxiety. We're a couple weeks into the second trimester so I'm feeling like a human again, with lots more energy, although things like showering, bending over, and walking up and down stairs are getting challenging. And sitting on my tuchus for the last four months means that I have lost the last scraps of stamina and fitness that I had at the beginning of the summer, so even getting myself off the couch for walks is a lot of effort and frankly isn't happening right now. I would love to set some structured exercise goals for myself and kick my butt into gear, because I honestly don't love looking and feeling so sluggish and heavy. I have heard all about how physically demanding childbirth and parenting are, and I am absolutely not in the shape I want to be for what lies ahead. That said, my mental health is also not the best at the moment - my anxiety/OCD and emetophobia have skyrocketed in recent weeks and made my inner life pretty miserable. So instead of being a drill sergeant to myself, I want to strive toward nurturing and caring for myself, asking for help (including in prayer!), resting productively instead of numbing, finding movement that feels good, and enjoying the last few weeks of summer before the cold and darkness returns. This is going to be an unstructured challenge (more like a battle log) because I know I'm less likely to show up here if I set goals, don't meet them, and then feel ashamed of myself. So for now, all I'm setting out as a goal is, I would like to feel more nourished and supported at the end of this challenge than I do at the beginning. I'm keeping garden metaphors in mind and going to treat myself like a seedling growing into a new world for the first time and in need of lots of care and support:
  14. For what it's worth, I believe with no doubt in my heart that you can and will succeed at your insurance job - switching industries is never easy and the transition period might be rocky, but I know you can do this and I'm so thankful you're trying to do what's best for yourself and your health. ❤️ Following along and cheering for you all the way!!
  15. I'm following too!! You're doing great things in the midst of the hard (and you can always bring the hard and sucky here, it doesn't scare us away!)! ❤️ Love and hugs always!
  16. You're the best!! I'll look into Obe - I do have an app called Expecting and Empowered that has exercises and coaching offered by physical therapists, which I have not used, and I also keep saying I want to look into prenatal yoga classes in my area, and haven't done that yet either. Giving myself a gentle and loving kick in the butt is the first step!! (I would love belly band recommendations though - it's almost time for one and I have no idea which brand is the best! )
  17. {{gentle hugs}} You are going through a LOT right now, my friend, and I wish I could give you a hug and share a few soft drinks with you. ❤️ It is really okay and good and healthy to be taking stock of your relationship with Rox and be sure this is the way you want to go. It doesn't mean you don't love her and don't want to be with her, and it certainly doesn't make you a bad person. Both of you are suffering right now and need to take care of yourselves - and each of you is responsible for finding the resources you need to manage your conditions and stay stable. Hopefully she can find what she needs to start getting better, and I'm so, so thankful you're having good experiences with your doctors too. ❤️ Sending lots of hugs and I'm always just a DM or Facebook message away if you need to chat. ❤️ So proud of you always!!
  18. Henlo frens! It's been a little while but everything is going well - work has been a little quieter and we had a few days of really nice weather, including the first day I went out with friends and didn't feel sick and exhausted afterward. My wrists are starting to get swollen and achy, which is something my mom experienced when she had us, so I know how to wrap and protect them; and the nightmares continue to get worse but they're mostly not disrupting my sleep. Overall I'm feeling so much more like a human, which is incredible and I'm so thankful. Now, the easing of my physical discomfort means that there's room for my anxiety to slide back into my metaphorical DM's, which isn't the most fun. I had a panic attack last week for the first time in many weeks, and while I've had more racing thoughts and obsessions, I've also noticed myself trying to be smaller and more agreeable, trying to hide my turbulent emotions and act "normal" as much as possible. I haven't talked to my therapist for a few weeks because she was traveling, and last time I mostly processed the hematoma scare with her; but I do have therapy this week and want to discuss feeling vulnerable and embarrassed about the weakness and messiness that comes with pregnancy. Just like when I got married, I feel like an impostor - like I somehow don't have as much right to start a family as other people do. (Enneagram Four much? ) Ultimately I know she's going to remind me that the only one who can change that core belief is me, and that it's going to take more work and time and practice, just like it has at every major transition in my life. But it'll feel good to say some of these things out loud anyway. In a little while Eamon and I are taking a little trip for our second anniversary ( ❤️ ), so this week I'm going to start prepping my packing lists, pre-travel chore lists, etc. I've been feeling really tired and burned out and I'm really looking forward to getting away for a little while and seeing some new places. I've been getting some gentle exercise and that feels amazing - doing yoga for the first time in months helped me ... recognize my body, I guess?? It was so grounding to feel familiar routines and movements and to recognize how my muscles respond to them. Now, walking around the neighborhood is still exhausting, especially hitting the big hill back to the house. But it's so good and important to move and start regaining some strength to be ready for birth and lugging a baby around. I may not check in much for the rest of the challenge, but I'm trying to stay present and I'll hopefully be able to integrate a little more movement into the next challenge. If anyone has tips for easy, low-impact movement ideas to get started when you're feeling mentally overwhelmed, I'm all ears!
  19. I've been a little absent but you're doing so great!! ❤️❤️❤️ I love the idea of doing a half marathon - and even if you don't decide to do it in the end, even trying something like that is huge! I hope this week is a little bit calmer for you (and that you got that nap in)!!
  20. Oh Morticia Adams is a great add! I've never seen a full episode of the Addams Family but I've wanted to - Morticia and and Gomez are such a sweet couple! And Marmee is a great addition too, and I forgot Miss Stacey from Anne of Green Gables - I know she's not technically Anne's mom but she's such a great mom figure and mentor! ❤️ (And yeah, Sarah Connor is absolutely incredible and I definitely hope the robot rebellion holds off until after I get my son grown )
  21. Hi friends! Just wrapped up an insane week that was crazy at work, had a bunch of friend drama pop up, brought a couple of mysterious stomach viruses (food poisoning? allergies? we never figured it out), and threatened bad storms several times that never panned out. My nightmares have been much worse this week and I've been really tired, but I also have a lot more mental energy and I'm feeling restless and ready for exercise and getting out of the house. (I say as I enter my fifth hour of sitting in the same spot on the couch.) For starters, my favorite online yoga instructor released her first prenatal yoga video this week, so I'm planning to try it out this evening while Eamon has game night with the dudes: As my mental energy returns, I'm also feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of Stuff there is to do and learn about before Little Bean makes his arrival. One of my close friends had her first baby this week, and even in just a few days she's used and mentioned things I've barely started thinking about (C-section recovery, baby monitors, sleep training, pacifiers, bassinets, and feeding schedules, to name a few). I know we still have several months before Bean is due, but seeing how fast months have been passing lately makes me feel way behind the curve. This week I want to look for some local classes or seminars to take on the basics of birth, postpartum, and newborn care, because I'm feeling the need for more hands-on learning than just reading books. Thank y'all for your great suggestions for fictional moms to start with! I confess I haven't spent any time thinking about that this week, so this coming week is a good place to start. Here's my list of moms to start with: Samantha Wildman (Star Trek Voyager) Dr. Beverly Crusher (Star Trek: The Next Generation) Amanda Grayson (Star Trek: The Original Series) Padme Amidala (Star Wars prequel trilogy) Arwen (Lord of the Rings) Molly Weasley (Harry Potter) Lily Potter (Harry Potter) Elastigirl (The Incredibles) Sina and Tala (mother and grandmother from Moana) I left off a few of y'all's suggestions because I either hadn't seen the movies, or else the characters mostly parented in pretty awful environments that I didn't super resonate with (I really hope not to have to parent like Sarah Connor!!). But even for the ones I didn't use, you inspired me to think more broadly than I had been, and come up with some even better ideas. And also, not everyone on this list is a perfect example of a mom - Padme, for example, has a lot of problems. But all of them are courageous and caring, they believe in their kids and do their best to support and protect their future, and many of them also have interesting identities and roles outside of being a mom that make their parenting richer. These are all things I want to embody in my parenting and I'm going to enjoy revisiting each of these characters. (Since starting this post several hours ago, I got out for a short walk, did a few squats and lunges, chatted with a couple of friends, and am about to go put together a gift bag for a friend of mine who is also pregnant and much sicker than I was. ❤️ So I did spend at least a little time off the couch, which is excellent. ) I love you guys and hope to be more present this week!!
  22. Hi friends! My name is Sky, I just celebrated my seventh year on the forums, and I am a first-time mom about to start the second trimester with my Little Bean. I'm late to this challenge because we recently had a scare where I had a subchorionic hematoma and thought I was miscarrying, but we had everything checked this week and Bean and I are both just fine. So now that my heart rate has somewhat returned to normal, I'm ready to make a plan for the next few weeks - or at least start checking in here again. My theme for this challenge is finding strong mothers, primarily in fiction, whom I resonate with and want to be like as I figure out my new role as a mom. I do not resonate with "mommy culture" in any way, and I am not a person who has dreamed of parenthood my whole life - but the "saccharine suburban mom" thing is absolutely not the only way to be a terrific mom and it's totally okay that that's not who I see myself becoming. I'm going to look for other examples of great moms who inspire me and do badass things as they raise their kids, love their spouses and serve their communities. I'm supposed to rest a lot and limit my activity for the next couple of weeks while the hematoma heals, so my initial goals will likely be around identity, mindset, and some nutrition. (I have gnarly indigestion and reflux at the moment and I'm trying to figure out what's triggering it so I can ease off of that. I also need to up my calcium and get more fruits and veggies, as usual.) I'm struggling to be patient with myself and struggling to accept help from my husband, so I'm trying to work on that too. After I'm more healed, I really really really want to reintroduce some walks and gentle yoga, because I have essentially not exercise for three months and I'm both antsy and weak. And while I'm resting, I'm going to think about (and solicit suggestions for!) badass fictional moms and mother figures. Love you guys and so excited to dive into gently ease my way into this challenge!
  23. How did you feel about this week's special episode??? I don't think I've stopped grinning since we watched it! (Also I've missed a bunch, CONGRATS on the new job!! I hope and pray these last shifts pass really quickly and you have all the energy you need to jump into your fresh start!)
  24. Dude you are doing GREAT and it makes me so happy that you're getting so much lovely support and encouragement. 🥰 One other thing I thought of, I know here in the U.S. we can get GABA in some OTC herbal supplements, and lots of people swear by magnesium and ashwaghanda to help calm anxiety too. I would recommend checking with a doctor or pharmacist to make sure they won't interfere with any other meds you're taking, but maybe some of those things would help take the edge off while you go through this rough patch. 💕 Absolutely echoing what everyone else has said, you are being so brave and doing amazing even when it doesn't feel like it, and your weight, your fears, your medical issues, your hurts - none of these things reflect your worth and how important you are to us and to so many others. 🩷 I'm so glad you're here!!
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