Friday, July 30, 2010

Prenatal Yoga

So, I have tried yoga ONCE in my whole life.  I HATED it.  I have always been very athletic and yoga was SO boring to me.  I hardly felt like it was a workout at all.  BUT...I figured prenatal yoga could be really good, especially when I'm huge and can barely move at all! :)

Well, there is a yoga studio literally about a block from our apartment that a friend of Justin's, Sean, goes to.  He is friends with the owner and instructor, Padma.  Justin and I have been to the DC Improv with Sean and Padma (who's name is Sarah.)  I decided to ask both Sean and Sarah what they thought because I was a little nervous to start for 2 reasons: 1. I don't do yoga so I don't really know what I'm doing and 2. I'm not really THAT pregnant yet.  But Sarah said it's her favorite class to teach and she really makes you sweat in the prenatal class and all of her classes.  So I went last night, with an open mind and heart.  And it was AWESOME!  I liked Sarah a lot before but she even made me like yoga!  Plus is was so awesome to be in a small intimate group of ladies who are going through the same thing as you.  Plus, the class was hard!  I'm a little sore today.  But I'm so excited to grow with all these women and learn from Padma!

Today, I had a doctor's appointment (this time with the actual doctor, not one of the midwives.)  I was without my better half, and I had tried to prepare some good questions since I've felt silly since I didn't have any at the last two appointments.  The doctor said I could keep playing volleyball just to be careful about diving (duh, I'm already doing that) and I can have SUSHI in moderation!  He is my savior for telling me that.  He also listened to the heartbeat again, said it was strong and perfect!  Then told me I was "an easy appointment," which is a good thing!  Yay for a health happy baby...which Gloria, the lady who gives a great scalp massage while washing your hair at the salon, thinks is a girl since I haven't felt any kicking yet.  She's so cute, so I believe her!

Here's a photo of my new haircut taken on the front facing camera of my new iPhone 4!  Nina misses you Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Familial Birthdays!

Not sure if you have noticed this, but I tend to write posts on any day of the week but Monday or Wednesday.  You see, I work for 10 hours (on my feet at a physically demanding job) until 7pm on Monday and Wednesday, and therefore do not ever feel like doing anything when I get home.  Maybe that will change soon, but back to the point of this post.

I realized a made a post for my amazing father's birthday and I forgot Aunt Meg!!  This is very belated, but I couldn't ask for a better older sister!! Honestly, I got lucky, because I'm pretty sure most of her friends would also say that they couldn't ask for a better person to have as a friend and I feel the same way...except I'm extra lucky because we are related!  I just know our little one will love his/her Aunt Meg just as much as my little nephew, Samson, loves his Aunt Melissa!

Sorry it's late, I love you Meg! Happy Belated Birthday!!

Month 3 Journal

I don't really like the 3rd month journal questions but I'll do the best that I can, and maybe add some new things I've been thinking about recently!:)

1.) What's the silliest pregnancy advice that has come your way?

One of our patient's at work who is pregnant with her second told me to tell Justin that "I'm closed.  Like the Sahara Desert."  Probably TMI Mrs. Patient-Lady.  But honestly, I appreciate most of the advice, especially from fellow moms and moms-to-be out there.  Some stuff may go in one ear and out the other but for the most part, I like opinions! :)

2.) Your version of your pregnancy story. (A.K.A. my fairytale birthing experience.)

I think this is a little silly, and I'm really not that creative.  I'm also trying to be really open about everything coming my way in January but I'll do my best to come up with a short story:)  After sleep a full night's sleep before or on our due date, I calmly wake up at 9:00 having to go to the bathroom.  We soon figure out my water broke and I'm having contractions.  It's conveniently right around our due date since my whole family has come to visit from Illinois!:)  The labor is too quick for me to even decide if I want an epidural (which is the scariest part of the whole situation for me) and after some nice easy pushing, out pops our wonderful little...BOY! (Or GIRL!! Just kidding I'd be happy with either!)  People are taking the first photos and I'm looking amazingly glowing and beautiful and not sweaty and gross at all.

Yeah I know, wishful thinking, but like I said, I'm not expecting the worst but I'm not expecting the best either.  Plus, I figure the pain is probably well worth it in the end!

3.) Take time to write out all your good advice.

Like I said I appreciate any and all advice, suggestions on registry items etc I can get.  I can't specifically say any specific advice (besides what I already mentioned about my mom) but feel free to leave a comment!:)

4.) What did your "Hot Mom-to-be" intuition tell you today?

"Be nice to your husband.  You got really lucky with this one so PLEASE, ignore the hormonal issues and BE NICE TO YOUR HUSBAND!!"

5.) Record your most wicked and wild food craving.

Honestly, I don't feel like this is a pregnancy craving as much as an every day craving, but like a typical pregnant lady, I sure do love my pickles.  About 2 weeks ago, I also got a huge craving for crab/lobster bisque soup.  And about a week before that I really wanted some donuts (long johns for anyone who knows what those are- not my husband or future brother-in-law).  I mentioned this to my patient at the time, and, just to prove to you how AWESOME my patients are, she left her appointment for that day and came back 15 minutes later with donuts for me!!  Including a cinnamon-sugar one AND a long john!!

6.) Craziest things that make you cry?  That make you happy?

Not too sure about these things yet.  But I'll keep it in the back of my mind and update you as soon as I know! :)

And seriously, any suggestions on registry places would be so helpful!  There are too many options and too many options for strollers and car seats and everything!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ultrasound #1

So Justin and I went today for our Nuchal Translucency test.  It is a combination of ultrasound looking at specific characteristics and measurements as well as a blood test to pre-screen for the risks of Down Syndrome.  Our doctor's office recommends the test to everyone, although I am naturally at a lower risk due to age, etc.  Well I was pretty excited but also unsure of what was going to happen.  The test has to be done between 11 weeks 3 days and 13 weeks 6 days gestation.  So we are nearing the end of the window...or so we thought.

I was instructed to drink 32 ounces of water an hour before the exam without "releasing" as the office person told me on the phone.  Um...this would be difficult for most people, I can't believe many pregnant ladies find this easy to accomplish.  My appointment was at 1, and I promptly went to the restroom at noon and then drank 32 ounces of water on my way to the testing clinic.  When we got there, we went back with the ultrasound technician and I told her I didn't have to pee but I had drunk the required allotment of water on my way.  She told me she couldn't see anything because my bladder wasn't full so we were to wait in the waiting room for about 15 more minutes.  5-10 minutes later, I really started to have to go.  The same technician called us back about 15-20 minutes later, when I was 110% sure my bladder was full.  She did all the tests, measured the space behind the neck, measured the nose, etc...and kept telling us our little one wasn't cooperating.  Great...we have a trouble-maker on our hands.

The whole situation was kinda fun and entertaining because the tech was young and when she was taking the "rump-to-crown" measurement, it was showing that we were at least a week further along than we thought...which would make the test invalid.  She stepped out to find out what she should do.  When she came back, she said she was told to "fake it."  We laughed and she tried to get a shorter measurement so it would say were weren't as far along as we are.  So turns out, I am actually more like 14 weeks and 4 days along...and here is the debut photo of "Baby Markowski-Hales" :)

P.S. The ultrasound tech and we got pretty close in the long time we were there trying to figure out what to do about the test and we asked her if she had any kids and when she got married.  She had been married for a year in August.  She also mentioned they were "trying" right now.  I nicely told her that maybe they should stop trying...that seemed to work for us! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Month 2 Journal

Because I missed a few days due to my trip to La Jolla, CA, I'm going to post two posts today.  Plus, tomorrow is beginning of my second trimester so I thought I should post another journal post!

Here are the questions from Chapter 2 of my book:

This chapter was about healthy eating and how your baby takes in everything around you, including sounds.

1. What healthy foods did you eat today?

M: Well, it's not even lunch time yet, so I haven't eaten much but cereal today.  However, on my road trip this weekend, we ate quite a bit at this little coffee shop that had some breakfast and lunch sandwiches, so I ate quite a bit of avocado.  And I think my new favorite type of frozen blended drink is Acai berry.  I had three from the coffee shop and they were delicious!

J: Not that it matters, but I thought it would be fun to still have Justin answer the questions!:)  He ate strawberries, eggs and milk this morning.

2. List the songs that you use to bring you back to earth.

M: I love everything Michael Buble, particularly Save the Last Dance, Crazy Love, and Hold On.  I also love Sara Bareilles, particularly Many the Miles and Maroon 5, especially Infatuation. Justin and I also like to listen to Brian Regan stand-up.

J: Most of the music Justin listens to doesn't calm him down, and I can vouch for's angry music.  We'll have to change that soon.  He says he likes The Dismemberment Plan, The City.

3. What's your baby's womb nickname?

We both agreed on "our little soy bean" because we love edamame, especially from our favorite sushi place!

4. What are your favorite feel-good movies?

M: I love any and all romantic comedies.  Some of my favorites are The Wedding Date, 27 Dresses, Fever Pitch, The Proposal and Made of Honor.  I also LOVE musicals and sports movies, especially Singing in the Rain, Mamma Mia (despite really bad singing) and Miracle (which is probably one of my favorite movies of all time.  If you know me at all, I could list hundreds of thousands of movies I love!

J: Justin loves Top Gun, Super Troopers, and The Sandlot.


Babies and Toddlers and Airplanes...Oh My!

Have you noticed how many kids are on airplanes?  Man, my two flights back from San Diego yesterday were probably about 50% kids under the age of 5.

I was in San Diego for my former teammate and college roommates wedding with some other former teammates, one of whom is also pregnant.  She's a little further along than me and was able to give me some advice, however her pregnancy has also been much rougher than mine so far.  It was nice to find out that she was on my flight to and from Milwaukee to San Diego though!

Back to the kids on the flights.  At first, on my flight back home from Milwaukee, it was late and I was a little hormonal and irritated and there were two boys probably around the age of 3 or 4 sitting in the row in front of me (from different families mind you).  They were SO hyper and talkative and loud the whole flight.  It wasn't terrible, but I was just tired of flying.  Then, as we were de-planing, one of those little boys was with his older sister (probably about 5) and his mom.  He followed me the whole way out of the airport, chatting with me about the cuts on his thumbs and running after me to keep up.  He was really cute.  His mom finally had to say, "Jack, you have to stay with me now." as they reached the baggage claim area.  I turned around and said and waved "Bye" to him.  Despite my slight irritation on the plane, I'm excited to have a child.  They are just so entertaining!:)

Here's an awesome picture of the clouds out the window of my plane at sunset. (And a picture of some of my very favorite Hokies:)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


So I guess I haven't had too many cravings.  I have always loved pickles and like a stereotypical pregnant woman, I love pickles just as much pregnant!  But today, I got a whiff of crab or lobster bisque soup at work and just had to have some!

Don't ask me where that whiff came from, but Justin and I had a date night at McCormick and Schmick's.  I had a giant bowl of lobster bisque and Justin was very pleased with his dinner!  Plus, they had key lime pie for favorite!

P.S. Check out my 12 week belly shot added at the request of my big sister, Aunt Meg.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Month 1 Journal

The book I'm reading, Hot Mom to Be Handbook, has a short series of questions to help you keep a journal of your pregnancy after each chapter, i.e. each month.  I thought this blog would be a fun way for me/us to let you in on how we are feeling and how things are going.  So here are the questions from Chapter 1, and answers from both of us (if I can get Justin to share!)

1. What were your first words or thoughts when you found out you were pregnant? And be honest!

M: Well I think we've actually gone over this, but my first thought was "Holy crap!"

J: Justin says his first thought/word was "Ummmm..."  Descriptive, I know.

2. What are you most excited about? What do you fear the most?

M: I think I'm most excited to embark on this new journey with Justin.  Plus I can't wait to actually live all those motor milestones that we learned about in school! :)  And I know that we won't be perfect parents but I'm just afraid I'm not ready yet and I won't know what to do.

J: He is most excited about watching he/she grow up.  He is most scared about having somebody be 100% reliant on him for everything. And he hopes they like his cooking!:)

3. What was the funniest thing that someone said or did when you told them about "the bun"?

M: This is actually completely crazy but the funniest thing that has happened so far was when I was telling my Nanny that she was going to be a great grandma.  We were at lunch in between bridal dress shopping appointments and the crazy outgoing waitress had just brought us our food.  She was peppering Megan's friend Amanda's salad and when I THOUGHT she had left, I began to tell my grandma.  Nanny was pretty surprised and she let a small gasp out, but from behind me as the words are coming out of my mouth, I hear the waitress go, "OH MY GOD...OH MY GOD!"  It's not as funny in writing but we couldn't stop laughing about it.  If Aunt Lauren can send me the video and I can somehow post it to the blog, I'll try that!

J: He says it has been funny how many people don't believe us when we tell them we are expecting.  We also laughed when his best friend Andrew said, "Yaayyy....right?"

4. Once you're pregnant, you notice every baby in the world.  How many babies did you see today?

M: Seeing as I've been sitting on the couch watching movies all day today, I've seen none (not even in the movies).  But I have to admit I've noticed more of those little suckers recently:)

J: He says he heard one crying at the Farmer's Market across the street today.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandpa M!

Today is my dad's **th birthday!:)  I wish we lived closer so we could spend some time with him, but I think we gave him a pretty good Father's Day present a few weeks ago!

I love you Dad!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Favorite questions after telling someone I'm pregnant...

I should probably write posts more often because there seems to be a lot that I can talk about!  Here are some of my favorite and most common post-people-finding-out-I'm-pregnant questions (and answers):

1. Are you going to find out the sex?

No.  Period the end.  I don't care if you think it's easier to pick colors or names or anything if you find out, and I REALLY don't care if you want to know:)  Plus, I find it funny hearing people tell me what they think it's gonna far: IT'S A BOY! :)

2. When are you due?

January 24th (tentatively), and "wow really? You're great aunt's first child was born in January? I can't believe it."  Here's to not caring what the actual date is because let's be honest, how many babies are born on that day? And more importantly, here's to our baby having their very own special day :)

3. Have you thought about names?

Um, I'm not sure if I mentioned this to you but it's taken me about 4-5 weeks to actually feel like I'm in this situation...actually hearing the heartbeat was the deal-sealer for me:)  So no, I haven't really thought about names, but I'm sure you are going to tell me which ones you like.

4. How are you feeling?

How in God's name do I answer this question?  I feel sick about 20% of the time, I feel AWESOME about 50% of the time and I feel like I could fall asleep standing up the rest of the time.  But otherwise, I feel exactly the same as I did 2 seconds ago, BEFORE I told you I was pregnant.

5. That's great news...right?!? OR Congratulations...?!?

As Justin's best friend and best man #1 at our wedding said, "Yaaayyyy....right?"  Haha, yes, even though it may not have been planned and maybe it was a surprise, we are still excited.

6. Have you started setting up a nursery?

Ugh, can someone else do all this other crap I have to do?  I'll worry about pushing this little thing out of my body and someone else worry about all that stuff?  I'm taking offers...

I think those are the main questions we have been getting, and my slightly sarcastic, pregnant lady way I wish I could answer them.  Maybe my next post can be of all the advice I've gotten from random patients so far...but for now my favorite quote from the best Mom I could have asked for to learn from:

"Yeah well, pregnancy is a weird time all around."  Thank you for the insight Mom.  I love you! <3

Saturday, July 3, 2010

We heard the heartbeat!

We had our second appointment with our doctors/midwives practice yesterday.  Unsure of what to expect, we got there and got asked a few family background questions: Any history of metal illness on either side...yes:).  Just kidding families!

Anyways, the midwife we saw yesterday said, "Well do you want to try to hear the heartbeat?" Ummmm....yeah!  She said we might not hear anything and sometimes you can hear it at 10 weeks, but most often you can't hear it until around 12 weeks.  Well, 2 seconds after she put the gel on my stomach, she goes, "There it is. and it sounds really good." I looked at Justin and said, "Well, now it feels real!" We got an order to get our first ultrasound this week to do a nuchal translucency test, to test for down syndrome (I believe). 

On a light note, like my dad says, "Did it sound like a setter's?" Yes, Dad, just like a setter, 6ft lefty! :)