Hospital Packing List

packing list

The idea that we will soon be a family of four became much more real this past weekend.  Since I am ~4 weeks from my due date, I figured it was probably time to pack my hospital bag (I went into labor with my son a week early and my midwife thinks that I will likely go at least that early this time around).

Packing for baby #1 was weeks in the making.  I found tips on websites, asked friends and family, and had a rough list that I obsessed over weeks before it was necessary to even think about a hospital bag.  And I ended up packing way too much – half of the things I brought were not even touched.

There was no obsessive list this time around – and I packed my bag (with the necessary things for baby #2) as well as an overnight bag for my son in record time!  (My mom lives 3 blocks from the hospital I will be delivering at so my son and husband will be sleeping there while baby #2 and I remain in the hospital).

I decided I would share my list and get some feedback from other moms / mom-to-be’s on what they packed / are going to pack/ wished they packed!!

read more

    Happy Bump Day (37 weeks)!!


    Today marks the start of my 37th week…one more week until I’m considered full term! The last two weeks have been exponentially better than the 5-6 – partially because I’m able to run again, partially because I feel more prepared for the arrival of #2, and partially because I know how close I am to the end!!

    Energy level: Although I feel great and have a ton more energy than I was expecting, last week was one of the most physically demanding ever.  In case you were wondering – planning a vacation to the beach while you are 36 weeks pregnant is NOT the smartest idea and I would highly recommend not doing it!  It wouldn’t have been nearly as tough if my husband was able to take the whole week off, but a few emergencies popped up last minute and he had to go to work three of the days.  It also wouldn’t have been as tough if my son were not going through a very clingy stage right now that required me to carry him from the condo we were staying in to the beach, and all the way to where we set up our blanket – all while holding a cooler of water and snacks and a beach bag with towels, clothes, and toys.  By the end of each day, I felt like I was barely able to stand up straight.

    read more

      Back to Running!!

      35 weeks

      After going full circle and finally accepting the fact that I wouldn’t be running until after baby #2 is born at the end of September, I have been able to run again without any pain.  Isn’t that weird how that always happens?  It’s like we have to have no expectations before we can really begin to make any progress.

      In my last pregnancy update, I said I was turning my attention to biking.  After going to the gym a few days in a row and having some awesome bike workouts, the pain in my back started to lessen more and more.  I don’t know if it was from biking, stretching more (I was stretching before AND after biking), or just the extra few days of recovery, but after an hour long bike ride at the gym on Thursday, I felt ZERO pain.  With absolutely no expectations, I decided to hop on the treadmill and see how I felt.

      My plan was simple – run at a nice, easy pace and stop at the smallest feeling of pain.   I ran 1 pain-free mile in 9 min.  I really wanted to keep running, but kept telling myself to have patience.  I had run 1.5 miles the week prior – and although I felt okay during the run, I woke up the next morning in pain.  So I stopped at the 1 mile mark.  I stretched, went home, and enjoyed a day with zero pain.

      read more

        No Checked Baggage for NYC Marathon?

        If you have run the NYC Marathon before, you may have complained or had an issue with the long lines/wait to get your baggage post-race.  For those not familiar with the NYC Marathon, this is what the post-race area is like: All runners enter a chute immediately after crossing the finish line.  There is no way in or out of this chute until you make it through all the “checkpoints”.  You get your medal and heat blanket, get your photo taken, pick up water, fruit, and other post-race fuel, and then head to the baggage area.  There is always a HUGE back-up / wait to get your baggage.  After that, you leave the chute and can find your family/friends who are waiting on Central Park West (by lettered signs corresponding to your last name).

        I’ve run the NYC Marathon several times.  In my opinion, the wait at the end is a necessary evil of participating in a race with almost 50,000 other people.  Yes, it is long and stinks and all I want to do is find my family and get inside, but I’ve always viewed it as a good way to keep my body moving (regardless of how slow the crowd is moving).

        read more

          How Much Money Are You Willing To Pay For Race Entry?

          2009 Boston Marathon

          Last week I received an email from the organizers of the NYC Ironman announcing registration for the 2013 race.  I had signed up for the 2012 Ironman (which was held last weekend) but had to cancel my entry when I found out I was pregnant (I received a $150 refund on my race entry fee).

          My husband and I had recently been discussing my intentions to sign up for next year’s race – training and completing an Ironman has been on the forefront of my mind for the past few years and rather than put it off for another few years, we decided I would make the NYC Ironman my target race post-baby #2.

          Well, we did…until I got the email with the registration information.  The price tag for the 2013 NYC Ironman?


          This is about $250 MORE than it was for the previous year’s race (2012 NYC Ironman).   In my mind, I could <somewhat> justify $950 for an Ironman but just couldn’t bring myself to pay $1200. Maybe it was the four digit figure as opposed to three.  Not sure.  But that extra $250 was the cut-off point for me.  (Registration is currently suspended for the NYC IM – more details here.)

          read more

            Gestational Diabetes

            Just a quick recap…A few weeks ago, I < barely>  failed my first glucose test.  My OB-GYN and I assumed the high number was a fluke (and likely caused by the ton of fruit and some chocolate I had eaten right before the test).   I found out last week that it wasn’t a fluke because I failed the 3-hr test (which requires fasting).

            So what does this mean for me?  I am now on a strict diet and starting today, will be checking my sugar levels 4x/day (when I first wake up and 2 hours after each meal) to ensure that I can keep the numbers in check.  If I can do that, then I will not need any medication.

            My primary OB-GYN (midwife) has shown some concern about the diet given my lack of weight gain recently.  At my last appointment, I had put on a total of 16 pounds (about 6 pounds less than I had put on by this point in my first pregnancy).  And I actually have lost a bit of weight the last few weeks.  Note: I believe that the loss of weight is likely tied to my lack of exercise – six weeks of ZERO running has caused my muscle mass in my legs to decrease).  However, my midwife is concerned because the diet I need to follow severely limits what my diet mostly consists of – fruit and carbohydrates.  So I need to closely monitor my weight as well to ensure that it doesn’t start drastically dipping. 

            read more

              Happy Bump Day! (35 weeks)


              Another two weeks have come and gone and with it comes lots of updates regarding Pumpkin and I.

              Glucose test – First the bad news.  I have developed gestational diabetes (GD).  I feel somewhat embarrassed saying it aloud.  I’ve had this preconceived notion that you develop GD if you are unhealthy, overweight, and/or inactive (because that is typically who is affected).   I won’t go into detail about GD in this post (check back tomorrow), but suffice to say I’m bummed.

              Running – I was hoping to have better news to share with you here.  I went for a run on Saturday. The first mile was pain-free – I was so happy I was fighting back the tears.  It felt SO good to be out running again, to be sweating again…but then the pain returned.  It wasn’t excruciating – but it was a lot like the last time I had run (when I stupidly pushed through the pain and ended up not being able to walk for weeks), so I stopped.  I continued to feel a bit of pain for 3-4 days afterwards.  I’m at the point now where I’ve all but resigned myself to not running til after Pumpkin is born.  I’m not really okay with it – but there’s not much I can do.  BUT, the good news is that I went to the gym today and biked for 30 minutes – with NO pain!  It was fantastic.  I am still riding the endorphin high from the workout.  So, my new plan is to get into crazy biking shape over the next ~5-6 weeks!  Perfect for the IronMan I plan to do next summer!! 

              read more

                Pregnancy and the Marathon

                My finish line!

                As I approach my due date (6 weeks!!!), I’ve begun thinking back to my son’s birth…trying to visualize what it will be like this time around.  It’s easy for me to remember the moments post labor & delivery and much harder to recall the period just before.  I vaguely remember what the contractions and pain felt like (even though I chose to go epidural-free) but can clearly imagine the moments when I first held my son.

                The more I’m bringing these memories to the forefront of my mind, the more I’m realizing that pregnancy and childbirth are A LOT like running a marathon (at least for me!).

                – There never is “the right time” to do either.  Work is hectic, there’s a ton of other time commitments,  financially you don’t feel ready…the list goes on and on.  While having a child is much more of a long-term commitment, you realize that there comes a point where you just have to take the plunge and go for it.  And as my mom always says…everything will work out in the end.

                read more

                  No Greater Sacrifice


                  After four years at West Point and over six years serving on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army, I have seen my share of death.  The number of friends, classmates, and coworkers that have been casualties of the war on terror is too high for me to begin to count.

                  I think there might be the perception that you expect death or become almost immune to it if you are in or around the military.  Yes,  death is always a possibility when you deploy but I think most service men and women would tell you that they expect to return home to their loved ones.  You know there is an inherent risk when you join the military, but the desire to serve your country is greater then any fear you may have.

                  And let me tell you.  It doesn’t get easier. In fact, I would argue that it gets harder.  You get so tired of having to say goodbye to friends and coworkers, of good people losing their lives way too soon, and of seeing happy families torn apart and changed forever.  You get frustrated because things seem to stay the same despite their giving of their life.  And you get annoyed when other trivial stories get more press than your friend’s passing.

                  read more

                    I’m Scared to Run

                    I’ve been virtually pain-free for almost a whole week.  I say virtually because there are still moments when I overextend myself and feel a small twinge of pain in my lower back/buttocks area due to Posterior Pelvic Pain.

                    The last 4+ weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions for me:

                    – During the first week, I just wanted to wake up and not be in pain.  I didn’t think it would be a long-term injury so I figured a few days off from running was probably not the worst thing for my body.

                    – By the second week, I was frustrated that the pain was still there – and still SO strong.  I no longer thought about running – I just wanted the pain to go away so I could walk normally and take care of my son.

                    – The third week came and I started to see/feel major improvement.  I was limping less and able to do most things again!  My spirits were higher than they had been in a while because I was hopeful that running was just around the corner.

                    – The fourth week was a letdown.  Although I felt better, there were still periods of pain and so running was still out of question.  I passed a major milestone:  This was the longest I had EVER gone without a single run (since starting long distance running in 2002).

                    read more

                      How To Avoid PPP During Pregnancy

                      As I’ve discussed in earlier posts, I developed Posterior Pelvic Pain (PPP) at week 29 of my 2nd pregnancy.  One of the first questions I asked my chiropractor and my OB-GYN was what caused PPP?  I had made it through my first pregnancy with no complications, so why was I having issues this time around?

                      Was it something specific that I did?  Could it have been avoided?  Was it my fault???

                      PPP is pain felt at or near the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) of your pelvis as a result of sacroiliac joint dysfunction.   This dysfunction occurs when the stability of the SIJ is comprised.  During pregnancy, mechanisms stabilizing the SIJ is affected. This instability allows for increased motion, stressing the SIJ.

                      1. Hormones (specifically, relaxin) released during pregnancy relax the ligaments of the body to allow the pelvis to enlarge, in preparation for childbirth
                      2. Due to the growing uterus, some of the core muscles around the pelvis get ‘stretched’ and weakened. (Source:

                      After a detailed discussion with my chiropractor, we came up with a handful of reasons why I developed PPP.  According to him, it probably wasn’t just one thing – it was the combination of all of these things.  My body was already dealing with the stress of pregnancy – piling on another 4-5 new stresses (for me) was too much for my body to handle.

                      read more

                        Happy Bump Day! (33 weeks)


                        It’s been SIX weeks since my last pregnancy update.  Between a few mini-vacations with the family and being a bit mopey and pouty about my lack of running, I haven’t had the heart to do an update. BUT, my back pain is almost totally gone and I’ve come to terms with the prospect of having to wait until post delivery to run again, so my mind and heart are in a better place.

                        Today marks the start of my 33rd week.  Part of me still hasn’t fully accepted the fact that I could be holding a newborn in just 5-6 few weeks (I was a week early with my son).

                        Running – Not much to update here as I haven’t gone on a single run since July 9th.  I have a chiropractor appointment today and am hopeful that we will be able to begin discussing a tentative timeline to return to running.  The last few days have been glorious – almost no back pain and I’m finally walking without a silly limp.  The hardest thing has been trying to stay positive and prevent the I feel crappy feeling from the lack of any sort of exercise (other than easy walking). Running GIVES me energy and makes me happy (as I’ve discussed in previous posts) so I’ve been trying my hardest to not let my lack of running get me down the last few weeks.

                        read more

                          Most Important Running Virtue

                          First time in a tuxedo!

                          I disconnected myself from all forms of social media last week.  My husband, son, and I flew to Portland last Wednesday.  We had a family wedding to attend and decided to make it an extended trip to spend time with my husband’s immediate family who we don’t get to see much of due to proximity.  My mother/father-in law and one of my husband’s brothers (and his family) all live in Alaska while his oldest brother (and his family) live in Portland.  We are lucky if we get to see them once or twice a year.  So we jumped on the idea of being ALL together for an extended period of time.  Flying across the country at 32 weeks pregnant was NOT the easiest thing in the world (will post about our flight experiences later this week) but it was definitely worth it!


                          During an appointment before our trip out west, my chiropractor said something to me that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind.  I was updating him on the previous weekend: I woke up with very little pain and so rather than continue resting and icing (per doctor’s orders), I vacuumed and moped the entire 2nd floor of our house.  Not smart.  And as a result, the following day was one of the most painful ones so far.

                          read more