I can hardly believe that May is already on the horizon! I'm not sure where this year has gone, but I am liking where it is headed- towards sunshine, fresh blooms and lots of warm weather!

Last weekend, Easter Weekend, was extra special for us, as we got an entire weekend to spend together. I can't tell you how much we looked forward to just having fun together before another few weeks of zero days off approached. (These next few months are going to be rouuggghh)

Sunday was an also a pretty exciting day for us - it was Kyle's birthday, 7 years since we started dating, AND we celebrated hitting the halfway point in our pregnancy... oh! and a few days late of celebrating our anniversary. All of which fell on Easter - the single greatest celebration of human history.

I love that all of our personal excitement seems so small when compared to Easter. How could anything compare to an empty cross and empty grave? Celebrating the resurrection of Christ on the same day as a culmination of so many things that have made my life so sweet - my husband, our pregnancy, our marriage- seems so appropriate. My heart felt like it was overflowing with gratitude for so many wonderful things. 

Kyle and I spent Saturday consuming very unhealthy food (I can't believe I had a hotdog, it was seriously delicious!) and sitting in the sunshine watching the Tigers beat the Angels. I forgot how fun baseball games can be - even if we got teased multiple times from the foul balls coming so close to our seats. Ever since we started on the basement, Kyle's been on this kick to frame out walls whenever he gets a spare moment - so guess what we did after the game? That's right, another date in the basement...framing away. It was his big weekend, so I agreed. Along with agreeing to go to Red Lobster for dinner. Kyle likes to tell his extended family that it's his favorite restaurant (specifically, it's just the rolls he loves), and we end up getting these gift cards at random occasions. Birthday boy choose to use one and boy was he happy with those cheddar biscuits. (Of ALL of the wonderful places in Ann Arbor to celebrate a birthday, only my husband would choose the Red Lobster. Gotta love him.)

We were able to enjoy the Easter service at church together, as well as some family time on Sunday afternoon. The sun was shining, there was a lot to celebrate, and no shortage of birthday cake to go around.

The weekend left me bursting at the seams with joy. Just so, so thankful for this life we've been given. It's beautiful.

(Oh, and Hannah is certainly a natural at running the bases. Batting, on the other hand, will need a little practice.)

(This post is not to give medical advice to pregnant woman regarding exercise routines. This is simply my experiences. Have questions? Ask your doc!)

A post a few weeks over at Newlymeds made me start thinking about what other people's experiences have been while pregnant and continuing to exercise (or trying to work out).

I'm still finding my way, figuring out what works for me and what has proven to be much more difficult than I anticipated.

Having exercise be a large part of my life prior to getting pregnant, I didn't think much about how it would go while pregnant. (And now I'm hearing all of the "you just wait.." comments) Of course I'd keep running 10 milers and join Jillian Michaels on the workout videos. But, like most things at the moment, everything is a surprise. It's all new territory, and half the time it leaves me feeling like a lost sheep trying to find my way.

My goal was (is) always to keep healthy and fit during my pregnancy. Exercise is so good for both mom and baby, so I never intended to stop. The doctor was very clear that as long I was not a high-risk pregnancy (I'm not), and I had consistently exercised before pregnancy (I have), there was no need to stop. Quite the opposite, actually - keep exercising, "Just listen to your body!"

Stop, no. Change...yes.

I'm currently 20 weeks (halfway!), which means about every five days I wake up, look in the mirror, and I'm a bit taken back by what I see. Baby is growing, I'm growing. I'm carrying more weight than I ever have (although I did go through a chub stage around 12;) and my muscles and ligaments are adjusting to carry it, as well as preparing for the grand finale of birth. <--- all of this can really cramp this woman's typical workout style. I've spoken to woman who haven't had to change a thing in their workout routines, and to that, I tip my hat. That is simply not my experience (I wish it was!).

First Trimester

When I had the energy to work out during those first few months, I would feel amazing. Exercising was the only thing that would give me more energy, help me sleep through the night, curb unhealthy cravings and subside nausea. If I could exercise, I knew it would be a good day! I always felt like a million bucks afterwards and thus made it a priority (even if I needed to take a nap beforehand ;).
The adjustment was more mental (and emotional). My mindset had to completely change. Running was no longer about going longer or faster, circuit training wasn't about pushing harder- it all turned to maintenance and a new understanding of what I could and could not do. (Or should and should not do).

2nd Trimester

Now, well into the 2nd, it's gotten physical. Lunges and jump squats just aren't the same when your belly has expanded like a basketball popping our of your abdomen. If bending over is even awkward, why on earth would I think that jump lunges would be easy?! Let me assure you, they certainly are not. At least not for this momma.

It's been a bit of learning curve as to how to stay fit as I continue to be challenged to do the things that once seemed easy. I should admit that being fit and feeling fit tend to be a bit different these days. I don't think I will feel fit for a while now, but I know that as I continue to exercise I am helping my body and baby - I'm staying fit. (given that I don't indulge in cheesecake on a daily basis)

Broken down, here's how I've had to adjust thus far:


Because of some intense round ligament, running has proved to be the most difficult for me after the 1st trimester. It's taken a while for me to get used to, since that's been my go-to and enjoyment for so long. I ran only between 3-5 miles at a time up until the time that my second trimester rolled around, and the belly started to pop. I began to notice a lot of aching and discomfort while running, and also a lot more exhaustion the next day. A lot of woman use the Belly Band to keep their mileage up. Although it does hold the belly in place and keep it from bouncing up and down (that happens! what a visual!), it didn't prove to ward off the aching and discomfort of my pelvic muscles.

Since Spring is springing and nice weather is calling my name, I can't bear to not be outside when I get the chance. Walking has become my new form of running. Sometimes I'll do some walk/run routines, run 1 mile, walk 1 mile, etc etc, and other times I'll stick to fast walking for at least 5 miles. I'll try to incorporate hills to get my heart rate up, making sure that I'm still feeling like I'm pushing myself just enough (always sure to stay at a conversational pace.)

Sometimes the feeling of defeat, or as if I've failed by not running at the same level as I once did, has been very discouraging. It's another one of those small emotional battles that I had (have) to face.

Circuit Training: 

Jumping, skipping, squatting, burpees, high knees...all of the fun rev-up-your-cardio stuff! The stuff I love.
I've had to modify a lot of my circuit training workouts simply do to discomfort in random positions, inability or doctors suggestions. However, modifying hasn't been too difficult...I just need to dig deep to remember alternative exercise moves that I could do. For example, if the routine calls for tuck jumps (jumping as high as possible while tucking your knees to your chest), I'll do squats with leg kicks or a round of punches with weights. Both of which raise my heart rate but keep my abdomen and surrounding muscles safe.
I've noticed that it is much easier to get tired after just twenty minutes- almost the same feeling as pre-pregnancy going 50 hard minutes. Sometimes I need to be done after just 20, and some days I can go to 40. It just depends on the workout, how much sleep I've been getting, and how hydrated I am.

At this point, I've stuck with doing the same videos I always have (Nike Training Club, The Biggest Loser Strength Training, Jillian Michaels) However, this week I ordered a few additional workout videos after doing some research as to what other pregnant woman have tried and enjoyed. Sometimes it can be difficult to find that balance between challenging and careful- so I'm hoping some of the exercises designed for specific trimesters will nail that down. I'm even going to try some prenatal yoga (first time for everything :) since it's suppose to be good for strengthening the muscles you will use most during delivery. I'll let you know how these go.

I'd love to hear any of your experiences of exercising while pregnant. I still have a good 20 weeks to continue to adjust as needed.

Today, I get to celebrate four years of marriage with this goofball.

Today, I find myself proud of where we are. Where we've been, where we are headed and the joy and pains that brought us to this very day.
From a work schedule that warrants very little time to spend together, devastating losses and the perils and joys of pregnancy, the past twelve months have stretched us to learn to serve one another - better.
In short, to become more like Christ.

Certainly, it hasn't come without multiple stumbling blocks along the way, sure to be followed by countless, countless more. But if anything, this past year has reiterated the reality that Christ is absolute, He is unwavering and He is faithful. That we can't do this alone, that we don't want to. To that and for that, we are able to slowly let our selfish ways fade away. 
Every year of marriage I can say we've changed in various ways.
This year, we've become stronger. Our foundation, firm.
Why? Because more than ever, we've been forced to lay down our needs and wants for the other person. Time and time again. Let me tell you, sometimes - it's with gritting teeth.

Through those gritting teeth, there has been a growth of love and respect for the other person.

Last night, we both agreed this has been our favorite year yet. 
...and then admitted that the upcoming year will probably trump it. Yah know, babies typically do that.

September is quickly sneaking up on us - a growing baby bump reminding us daily that an entire new adventure and challenge awaits. Like two blind mice, we're entering parenthood together in just a few short months. We're both ecstatic, and let's be honest- completely freaked out! 
 Whatever the emotion, I've never felt more confident in our foundation as a couple. I have a feeling that this year was only the beginning of learning how to better care for one another. I hear babies are a lot of work ;)

Life just gets sweeter and sweeter with you, Happy Four Years!

I sound like a broken record, but boy am I glad that "Medical Monday's" is an entire week. I seem to be late to the party just about every month now.

Match day is officially over and plenty of medical-related individuals and families are planning to move across the state or country! It's such an exciting and yet, stressful, time. I hope that this blogging medical community can support you during your transitions! This blog hop is a great way to connect, so please join in!

Lately, I've been thinking about all of the conversations that my husband and I have that most people would find, hum... strange. Such as the discussions at the dinner table about a free flap or scrolling through pictures on his phone of people's ear's cut off or a jaw being removed. No one could accuse us of being boring, that's for sure.
I love reading about the ridiculous stories that begin with, "you know you are a doctor's wife when..."

Here's this week's contribution from our household:

"Hunny, I need to order a belly band for running."
"What is that?!"
"It holds my belly in place and supports my pelvic bones so I can keep running during pregnancy"
"Oh! Oh! We have those!"
"You have belly bands in the hospital?" (By the way, my husband works from the neck up, so why he would know about belly bands is beyond me...)
"Well, we use them for obese patients who have all kinds of stomach surgeries."
"Hum..that may be a different sort of belly band."
"You may look ridiculous, but it will certainly hold that baby belly in place."
"I'll see if you could use one."
"I just ordered one on Amazon."
" What?! I bet it won't be as supportive as the one I could have gotten for you. I'm counting the days until you ask for the band with the straps that go over your shoulders. "

Now, I am not sure whether to contribute his attempt at creativity to his Dutch roots of being cheap, or his current manic state caused from lack of sleep. Either way, he was dead set on making his pregnant wife wear a support band previously meant for obese patients suffering from hernias. I can't tell you if I am offended or flattered.
I also can't tell you if I'll regret not having a suspender system at 9 months.

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