This Is Not Goodbye

I didn’t want to stop posting here without explanation because I didn’t want you to think that I threw in the towel or got kicked out of PriorFatGirl or anything like that. The truth is, shortly after learning of my second pregnancy, I decided to move over to my own blog, where I can focus on pregnancy, motherhood, and healthy living. Don’t get me wrong – I know I can do that here because Jen has always been (and I’m sure always will be!) super supportive – but I wanted to do more of my own thing. I have put some self-imposed pressure on myself; I have been feeling very guilty that I haven’t blogged as regularly as I had hoped – and that’s not fair to Jen or to the PriorFatGirl readers. It has taken some time to get the blog up and running, and while it’s still kind of bare bones, I hope you’ll check it out sometime.

I hope this is not goodbye for us and that you keep in touch via my new blog, Twitter, or email. I will be changing my Twitter handle from PFG_Dawn to Fit_Dawn and will probably change that in the next day or two (I’ll announce on Twitter too). My new blog is FitDawn.com and my email address (for now, anyway) is fitdawn2@gmail.com. The blog will follow me through this pregnancy (and how I’m trying to stay fit), post-pregnancy and the weight loss that I hope to achieve, as well as the ups and downs of being a full-time (pregnant) working mom just trying to become healthy.

I would like to send a huge, loving THANK YOU to Jen for allowing me to blog on PFG and for supporting me through so much. If you don’t already know, Jen is an amazing woman who is thoughtful, kind, and genuine. Another big hug and THANK YOU to Liz for being my PFG partner in crime, as well as my friend – thanks for letting me vent and admit my challenges and struggles to you without judgment. And to beautiful PFG Elle – thank you for your continued inspiration and beautiful writing. I’ll always be checking out PFG to keep up with all of you! :)

And last but not least, the biggest, warmest  THANK YOU of all to the PFG family for everything you have allowed me to share with you and for everything you have shared with me. Thank you for encouraging me, kicking my butt, and sharing your own stories. Thank you for listening to me whine, celebrate, and everything in between. Thank you for getting me through half marathon training, your support when we said goodbye to Cain, and for your congratulations on baby number two. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

This is not goodbye…it’s see you soon!

Love,

Dawn

The Sad Post

I don’t really know what else to call this post. The past couple of weeks have been unbelievably sad and hard on me and my husband. The baby is fine (and I’m fine) but we did lose a very important member of our family last week.

I wrote in March that our sweet Cain had a vestibular attack. He eventually recovered pretty well although he never got back to 100%. He still had a lot of trouble with the stairs in our house, so we blocked all of them off. All things considered – the vestibular attack, his bad hips, and his age of 12 1/2 – he was doing pretty well.

Until the last week of April.

He started deteriorating fast and went from being able to pull himself onto the couch to not being able to walk more than a few feet without his back end collapsing. We had to hook a beach towel under his backside to assist him in going outside to use the bathroom. He was still eating and drinking just fine, but his poor body was just giving out on him. We declined a referral to a neurologist since we weren’t going to consider surgery at his age but the vet said it could be anything from a brain tumor to a stroke to a spinal tumor that just finally caught up with him.

My husband and I made the extremely difficult decision to say goodbye to our sweet boy on May 3rd. The anticipation was so hard on both of us; this was the first time either of us had gone through this and didn’t know what to expect. I have to give so much credit and thanks to our vet office; we were able to make arrangements and prepay over the phone so that we didn’t have to deal with it ‘after’. They allowed us to stay in our car with Cain until our room was ready and then they came out and got him and took us right into the room. They allowed us to spend as much time with him as we wanted or needed. The vet had just lost her own dog a few days prior so she was extremely sympathetic and extra gentle and loving. The whole experience was surreal but much less traumatic than I expected. It was extremely sad yet peaceful and a mix of heartbreak from losing him and relief that he was no longer suffering.

I know we did the right thing for our dog and while I miss him so much, I am so happy that we were blessed to be his owners for almost 12 years. We adopted him from a rescue when he was eight months old and it was love at first sight. He was gentle and loving and sweet and sensitive. He was awesome and there will never be another dog like him. Ever.

Our other dog, Fritz, seems to be doing okay. He’s getting more love and attention and (so far) hasn’t been acting any differently. Sydney asks “Where Cain?” and I just tell her he’s in heaven. She then usually says “I see him?” but I explain we can’t see him anymore. I’m glad she’s still too young to really understand.

I had already made plans to meet up with old friends in Baltimore the day after we said goodbye so spending time laughing with my friends for two days was a great distraction. I encouraged my husband to go to his parents’ house to get away, so he took Syd and Fritz with him for his own little escape. I was really happy to get home on Sunday but thankful for old friends who can make me laugh and get my mind off of everything.

I’m so sorry for such a depressing post and promise the next one won’t be so sad. This is what has been going on lately and I wanted to explain why I’ve been gone. I’ve also been much less active on Twitter since it’s hard to say much when nothing else really seems important.

I hope you’re all doing well. Give your pets an extra hug from Cain and me tonight, okay?

PFG

 

 

Yoga Mojo

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I was a lazy bum when I was pregnant with Sydney. I had a prenatal yoga dvd that never saw the  light of day and walking to my car in the parking garage at work was more exhausting than running a half marathon (seriously). I know it was partially due to how tired most women get in the first trimester, not to mention how bad my morning sickness was every day. But the problem was that the laziness continued even after I got the second trimester energy back and the morning sickness went away. I still didn’t break out the yoga dvd (although I thought about it on ocassion) and I only went to the gym once to swim.

While this pregnancy has been a bit of a repeat of the first trimester, I’m determined to stop the vicious cycle. I’m still exhausted by 7:30 every night and go to bed immediately after I put Sydney in her crib. The upside is that the morning sickness is much less severe than the first time so I’m using that to my advantage. I’ve read that exericise can help with morning sickness, so I just signed up for four yoga classes in the next two weeks: two regular 101 classes and two prenatal classes. It’s been over two months since I’ve gone to yoga so I feel a bit like a newbie again but I’m depending on muscle memory to get me through some of the poses. :)

My favorite hot yoga teacher said to check with my doctor because some will okay hot yoga after the first trimester. I want to be safe, so I’d only do the hot yoga 101 classes since they aren’t as intense or as hot as the 90 minute Vinyasa Flow classes. My next regular appointment is at the beginning of May so the timing will be great to ask the OB. Of course I’d practice with modifications and follow my body’s cues (rest when needed, don’t push as I would pre-pregnancy, etc) but we’ll see what the doctor says.

In the meantime, I’m excited to get back to non-hot yoga and just start moving my body again! Hopefully this will be the jumpstart I need to get my yoga mojo back!

PFG

My Own Advocate

Warning: this post is all pregnancy and birth related. I won’t hold it against you if you close your browser and come back next week.

When I was pregnant with Sydney, I researched birth options online and read books and watched documentaries and asked questions and then decided on a natural birth. I hired a doula and prepped and tried for that natural birth, but due to things beyond my control, I ended up with every intervention that I didn’t want – and ultimately had a c-section. Believe me – I’m so incredibly thankful that Sydney was born with no health problems and that we were able to take her home from the hospital as planned. I have friends who weren’t so lucky. They either had a baby in the NICU and worried for days or weeks months or didn’t get to take their baby home at all. So while I didn’t get the birth that I wanted, I got the baby that I wanted and that is really what mattered at the end of it all. We are blessed.

When I found out that I was pregnant this time, the first thing I did was start researching doctors and whether or not they would support my decisions for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I knew it was early and anything could happen, but I didn’t want to start with one doctor and find out later that everything I wanted would be ignored or just not allowed at their practice.

I quickly learned that the doctor who delivered Sydney was at a practice that would not even consider a VBAC. I was pretty sad about that because I really liked him and the other doctors he works with, but I did not want to put myself through another c-section just because I liked him. I found another practice who had “VBAC FRIENDLY” prominently displayed on their website. I had my initial appointment with a great female doctor and felt pretty comfortable, but was bothered by her statement that they’d only ‘let’ me go to 40 weeks. It only got worse when my two subsequent appointments with one of her colleagues were anything but comfortable. Based on his clinical approach to my ultrasounds and just a gut feeling that I got from my interactions with him, I decided to again look elsewhere for an OB.

I sent an SOS text to my doula, Becky, and asked for recommendations for an OB who was truly VBAC friendly. Beckly quickly sent me a referral to a midwife and doctor team practice. I immediately booked an appointment for last week.

I wish I could explain the difference in how I was treated. I met with the midwife and she told me that they make recommendations and that I make decisions. She told me that they’d be comfortable with me going 10 days past my due date and that I was a prime candidate for a successful VBAC. She told me that their VBAC success rate is 80%. I admitted my concerns about the previous practice to her and she confirmed my fear: they were VBAC friendly on paper but not at all supportive of their patients.

My whole point to this post is that it is so important to follow your gut to advocate for your health -whether it is your pregnancy and birth or a suspicious problem for your child. (Anyone watch Grey’s Anatomy a few weeks ago?!) Knowing that I’ll be supported by a team of professionals who have the same plan as me gives me more confidence in my decision. I know that a VBAC isn’t guaranteed but I’m so thankful for the opportunity to try.

Disclaimer: I know that c-sections are a sensitive subject for a lot of moms. I am going to share my own personal experiences and beliefs which does not mean that I do not support my fellow moms who elect to have a c-section for their own personal reasons. Please do not take anything I say as a personal attack against those decisions because each pregnancy and person is different.