Sunday, August 31, 2008

At Long Last!

I have been missing in action lately, I know. When you have a blog that chronicles your weight loss and you suddenly can't lose weight...well, that makes it hard to keep up the blog.

Why can't I lose weight? Many of you are clever and long ago figured out my secret. Yes, I am pregnant. I am a little over 12 weeks along. Want to see a picture?

As you can see by this picture it's been a long 12 weeks and a lot has changed around here, especially with my body! Alright, okay, I'm not carrying quintuplets and that is not really what my baby "bump" looks like. That's me at the maternity store and I'm wearing the fake belly they give you for an idea how clothes will fit later on in the pregnancy. Before I go on I have to back up and start from the beginning...And I have to warn you, I'm catching you up on weeks of information so it's a long post today. But I promise fun, super-important, and happy information so hang in there!

A few years ago... See? I said we were going back. So, a few years ago I got pregnant. It wasn't really "planned" per se but we were excited. I was also freaked out. How was I going to do this in the shape I was in? And not just physically, but emotionally too. Well, we found out at the first OB appointment, at 8 weeks, that there was no baby, the sac was empty. We were really disappointed. We didn't try to get pregnant right away, though we both knew we wanted children. I talked with a friend and I remember saying I feared what we came to call the Trifecta - fat, forty and pregnant. I didn't have control over the 40, if I didn't get pregnant again until 40, oh well. I didn't have a lot of control over the pregnant either, that is if I wanted to bear a child. But I do have control over the fat, that part I could change. And it only takes changing one to avoid The Trifecta.

So while future pregnancy wasn't a huge factor in my deciding to get in shape, it played a part. Because of my reaction to being pregnant (I told you I freaked out) I had entered therapy. I had some "issues" to work on. It was a good thing too because when we had the miscarriage the therapy helped me process that too. But I stayed in therapy long after the miscarriage to address the other issues in my life with which I was unhappy - and the weight was both a symptom and part of the cause of that unhappiness. Eventually I started feeling better and wanting to take better care of myself. I joined Weight Watchers and the rest, as they say, is history.

So earlier this year Miguel and I decided to "try". I started by plotting my cycle dates for two consecutive months and then using an ovulation calculator to predict the date of ovulation. The very first month we used those dates to try to conceive I got pregnant. Talk about wham, bam, thank you ma'am! I was actually figuring it would take a few months. I felt so sure of that that I had registered for the Marin Triathlon in October, "Oh, I won't get pregnant right away, I'm 37." Hmph.

So, we conceived. Yay! Turns out I was pregnant at my very first triathlon way back in June!! I just didn't know it yet. I was really convinced I wouldn't get pregnant that fast. After finding out I was pregnant we held our breath. I felt fine for several weeks. In fact, I felt so fine I was telling myself, "I'm going to maintain my fitness routine. I can do that triathlon in October, I can keep training. As long as I don't push myself too hard I'll be fine." I really did feel totally normal. Remember that 47 mile ride we went on in late July? Well, the Monday after that, in my 6th week, it hit.

Exhaustion. Utter and complete exhaustion like I don't think I've ever known. I felt drugged, I felt dead tired. I couldn't believe I could be that tired all day. It was actually worse than how I used to feel at 230+ pounds. And it didn't go away. For weeks I was dragging myself around like a hungover college student, tired and mildly nauseous with glassy eyes and a slow brain. It was bad and I started to get depressed. I think it really scared me. I feared I would lose all the fitness gains I'd made, that I would become a couch sloth again. I was doing all my "old" behaviors, lying on the couch after work, doing nothing on the weekends. And I couldn't shake it. No matter how guilty I felt or how many times I told myself, "you should go for a walk", I couldn't get moving.

Our first OB appointment rolled around, including the 8 week ultrasound. We went and held our breath. This was the same appointment at which we found out we weren't pregnant the last time. The doctor lit up the machine, which Miguel could see but I couldn't. In just a few moments I saw a big smile on Miguel's face. He saw something. And then the doctor turned the screen toward me, "there it is, with a little beating heart". We "saw" the heartbeat as a little fluttering on the screen in the middle of a tiny blob. Wow. wow. wow.

I knew I would have to stop Weight Watchers after that appointment. I knew I couldn't keep losing weight. But no Weight Watchers scared me. So I asked the doctor about seeing a nutritionist. She let me know that normally only pregnant women with diabetes see nutritionists but I told her about my 75 pound weight loss and my fears. I needed help with knowing how to eat healthy. So she gave me the referral and I met with a nutritionist. I also asked about exercise and got the go-ahead to do the Tri for Fun in August. The Olympic distance in October didn't make my doctor so happy. She said I could relay it and do one leg, if things were progressing well and I didn't exert myself too hard. More on my pregnancy and nutrition/exercise learning curve in a bit.

We were still holding our breath. Remembering the disappointment in my mom's voice when we had the miscarriage 2 years ago we made the decision to not tell her until after the first trimester. That's why I couldn't post it here either. Couldn't very well keep it from mom but shout it out to the blogosphere, right?

The exhaustion was ongoing and I slowly became almost totally inactive. I'm telling you, I was not a happy camper. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to be pregnant but I couldn't really believe how tired I was. I started feeling human again about a week ago. At least I no longer feel like I should be sleeping at any given moment of the day. The severe tiredness lasted about a solid month, from 7/21 to last week. During that time, in an attempt to keep my blog alive, any and every time I did some activity of any sort I blogged about it. As if to say, "look, I'm still moving."

On 8/20 we went in for some tests they offer women of "Advanced Maternal Age", like myself. They lit up the machine and... oh. my. god. There was a little baby! And it looked like a baby, and it was kicking and throwing its arms in the air, and flipping over! We had never seen any other ultrasounds besides our own at 8 weeks so this blew us away. Would you like to meet the little kicker?

Last Wednesday we got the results back from the testing. We have a healthy fetus with 46 chromosomes including an X and a Y chromosome. For those who don't remember that particular high school biology lesson an X and a Y means we're having a boy!! Sweet! I didn't realize how nervous I was until the genetic counselor called and told us all was well. That was the biggest sigh of relief of my life.

Now I can tell mom! It's been over 12 weeks and all is well. My mom had called recently and offered to buy me a couple outfits in my new smaller size. "Perfect!", I thought. Here was the plan. I decided we'd go to this really cute outdoor mall that has a Mimi Maternity. I'd guide us in there with, "hey, let's check this store out", figuring she'd figure it out right away.

It went off wonderfully! Miguel went ahead of time and took flowers and a card to the store. I had made a card with a picture of the ultrasound on the outside and lots of different grandmother nicknames on the inside. The manager was very sweet and super excited to be helping us surprise her.

So when I said, "let's check out this store" my mom just froze. She stared at me and I smiled and she knew. We walked in and when the manager handed her the flowers and congratulated her she broke down and cried. She was so excited and happy and it was just plain fun.

I was worried she'd be upset that we waited so long to tell her but she thanked us again and again, "Now I just get to enjoy and miss all the nervousness." It was so fun!! She's super excited. And...I got three pair of maternity pants!! Yay! Do I need maternity pants? Not really, my size 8's are too tight but if I wear pants with an elastic waist they still fit. Those maternity pants sure are comfy though. I'm just beginning to pooch out in the tummy, but I just look chubby, you'd never guess I was pregnant.

Well, there you have it. The big news. The reason I haven't posted a weight or followed my training plan. By the way, I'm 164.4 pounds. I'll have to go into the food plan next time, this post is already pushing the length limits. Let's just say there's a plan, and then there's what I'm actually eating :)

Before I go, a word to my super-cool readers. I'm thinking a blog name change might be in order, at least for the next 6-7 months. Any ideas? More importantly, thank you for your concern over these past couple of months. I'm sorry if I made anyone think I was sick or dying or anything. I wanted to not mention it at all but when I stopped following my training plan I figured I had to say something. Some of you figured it out but I had to keep mum. I know you understand....Guess What? I'm pregnant!!!


  1. Congrats that is very exciting - I wish you a very healthy pregnancy.

  2. Congratulations to both of you!!!! Take care and don't be too hard on yourself....

  3. Congratulations!!! I had at first guessed you were pregnant, but the extreme fatigue you kept referring to made me worried it was something more extreme, like a thyroid thing. Thank god that wasn't the case! That is a really sweet story about how you both surprised your mom, I teared up a little at that :)
    I would love to hear about any books or references on maintaining weight or losing while pregnant. My sister (who is obese) lost (a small amt of) weight while pregnant, I think just because she started eating healthier.

  4. Congrats Congrats Congrats! What awesome news!!!!! Take care of yourself and enjoy!!!

  5. Oh Michelle ma belle
    How happy I am for you, Miguel, and your mom. But you know that. I'm so glad Mom loved the surprise. This is going to be soo so fun. Matzo Ball? Marin Tri? Mini Tri?'t help myself

  6. Michelle

    I am in my office in tears of happiness for you,
    I am so glad this was your news and TOTALLY understand your fears, your reluctance to say anything, the tiredness...the excitement!

    I had a really tough pregnancy in terms of tiredness and sickness but it it the MOST AMAZING thing I have EVER done! Without a doubt.

    I am glad you got to see the nutritionist, I would even suggest more counselling as weight issues and pregnancies are confusing things to deal with at the same time.

    As I said to you in e-mail if I can help at all across the miles I would be honoured.

    As for your new blog title...what bout

    "Blooming Wonderful"
    "Yummy Mummy in the making"

    You will be a fantastic mum and all your new healthy habits will be so positive for your bub. There is research to say if women who exercise in their pregnancy and first 2 years of the babies lives, their children are less likely to have weight issues and I guess they grow up thinking that exercise is a normal fun part of life.


  7. oh wow, oh wow!! That is fabulous news Congratulations!!!!!
    And to be honest I was totally clueless... didn't even think it... lol. I always said I had the maternal instincts of a gumboot...

    I hope you have a smooth, easy going and most of all wonderful pregnancy.

    As for a new name - I love the Yummy Mummy one suggested by Bekkles. If there was ever a yummy mummy - its our Bek. :)

  8. I knew it!! You know you are the THIRD person on my bloglist to announce their pregnancy... it is MY turn next!

  9. I was getting worried there about the lack of posts, but this was worth waiting for. What wonderful news! Congratulations to you and your hubby. Kidlet will probably be an athlete like his mom. :-)

  10. wow congratulations! I am so happy for you. and Im glad you posted this, because one of my fears is getting pregnant and gaining back the weight that I have lost. its good to know that others have the same fear and Im not just being silly. take care of yourself!

  11. OH wow.. congratulations!
    I am soooo very happy for you.
    they whole pregnancy and staying fit thing was so hard for me to do.. I know you will do so much better than me at all that! How cool is it to have a nutritionist! that rocks!

    blessings on a healthy pregnancy and i cant wait to see what you new blog title will be, what jogging strollers, baby bike trailer and other mom to be things you recommend, :)

    and take care of yourself!

    ruthie :)


    I figured something was up... and thought this might be it.

    Very exciting times for you and Miguel!

    Felicidades otra vez!

  13. I sort of had a feeling about the pregnancy! Congratulations!

    I feel like I'm late to the party here. I take a few days off from blogging or e-mail and look what happens! Big news!

    The good thing about being in shape for a pregnancy is that the recovery goes much quicker, and you're in awesome shape!

    I love how you told your mom!

  14. Congratulations! You'll have a new mini-triathlete in the family.

  15. This is so exciting...congrats! Be sure to add a jogging stroller to your wish list ;-) Cristin over at Eat Like Me - - is pregnant and posts everything she eats. You might enjoy reading her blog for ideas.

  16. Congratulations!!!! That is fantastic!!! That is so great the way you surprised your mom!! How wonderful. I wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy!!!

  17. Thank goodess it's out!! I had to keep it out of my blog too how excited I am for both of you and grandma too.

    CONGRATULATIONS....I cried when I read this post. You're an amazing person and will be a fantastic, in shape, encouraging mom, that's how you are as a friend so what would be different?!?! I would totally do the run leg of the tri if we were not so far apart.

    All my love from NY. XOXOX

  18. I THOUGHT that might be your news (the extreme tiredness was a HUGE clue for me...I was like that in my first trimester). I'm glad it's passing.

    So, Congrats, Congrats, Congrats!

    How about crossing out the word Loser (but leave it there for happy, healthy, baby birth you can go back to it) and call your blog "Diary of an Aspiring Mama"

  19. Congratulations!!!! I am so darn tickled for you!

  20. Congratulations Michelle and Miguel! Both of you and grandma look so happy!

    Wishing you a very happy and healthy pregancy! Very exciting news!

  21. Hooray!! I am looking forward to being along for this journey too!

  22. Congratulations and best wishes. How exciting.

  23. Congratulations! This is wonderful news!!

  24. I am so excited for you and your husband! Congrats! I admire what you have acheived during your weight loss and now with the tools you have, you will have a healthy and happy pregnancy. You are a determined woman, and I look forward to hearing all about your experiences over the next months!

  25. Congratulations! I kinda thought that was the case!

    I had my kids at 38 and 42, so it's very doable. I also suffered to miscarriages, so I can understand your hesitancy.

    Enjoy your pregnancy. You'll feel better now for a long time. Follow what your OBYN says regarding exercise, and if you eat healthy, you'll do great.

    I swam the day I went into labor with my first. You'll be happy you're a swimmer as time goes by.

    Again, congratulations and my best wishes and prayers are with you and your family!

  26. OMG!!! COngrats again and again...I am so happy for you and Miguel. I had a feeling you might be pregnant but didn't want to pry! I can't wait to hear how things progress, pregnancy is a HUGE fear for me. Congrats again!!

  27. Congrats! You know, you are growing a little person in there. That's got to take some energy!

    Enjoy your naps and I wish I could help with your relay.

  28. CONGRATS CONGRATS CONGRATS!! That is some awesome awesome news!!! And what a way to tell you mom - got tears in my eyes reading it!!

    What about a simple name change - Diary of an Aspiring Mommy?

    I don't know, don't care, just so happy that I can be part of this with you!!! Congrats!!

  29. Cangratulations! You will be such a supercool mama! And BRAVO for asking for help and insisting on the nutritionist referral!

  30. Oh my gosh!!!!

    I have been reading your blog for a couple months now and have been so inspired by your journey.

    I have to say I was disappointed when your posts suddenly stopped. I had gotten so used to them, like advice from an old friend.

    This is now the second time that your blog has made me cry, right in front of my laptop, so much that it blurs my vision so much that I can't read anymore.

    I wish you and your husband all the best and can't wait to read what is next in store for you.

  31. I thought that might be what was going on :) Congratulations! That is so awesome!!

    How about: Diary of an aspiring momma!

  32. Sorry to be so late to chime in. That such great news!! I loved how you let us know about the previous heartache and current hesitations. You're going to have a great pregnancy and make a great new mom, Michelle. A boy? Oh Boy!!!

  33. Oh, Michelle, you brought tears to my eyes! Congratulations! He's cute, what a big head! LOL! Maternity clothes are sooo cool, they are getting really hip. You are gonna be stylish! Can I ask why you can't do WeWa? Do you have to stop if you are pregnant? I did not know that.

  34. michelle and miguel, that is the bestest news ever! many, many best wishes!


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