I am still at the point where every time someone tells me that they read my blog, I am genuinely baffled. However, for all you wonderful people out there reading this (who apparently really do exist), I think I owe you an update.
I have been totally MIA for the last few months, and with good reason. I have been working on complete my exam for my official paediatric specialty designation. This beast ended up being 74 pages long! My husband jokes that it was a thesis, not an exam. Either way, it has been my complete obsession over the last couple months and I finally handed it in last week. I now feel like I can breath and am slowly reintroducing myself to the living world of human beings out there, much to my husband’s happiness.
Believe it or not, it has been 8 months since I started this journey. I had a plan in mind and what actually ended up happening looks nothing like that plan, but I didn’t really expect it would. I like to have a plan to guide me in moving forward, and then follow the tides and be flexible to changing direction when things come up. I am happy to report that I have been making forward progress. Here is how.
In terms of physical preparations for a baby-ready body, my goals were to train to stabilize some of the instabilities and weaknesses that I have (so that I can avoid some of the most common causes of discomfort during pregnancy) and to run 50K in Squamish as a “last-horrah”. I have partnered with an awesome trainer as a training partner (Dani Ayearst at Aspire Health & Performance) and my hubby (Dr Ben at Valeo Health Clinic, who is a rehab chiro and strength trainer) has written us some “wonderful” training plans to target all my weaknesses and prepare me for my big run. I can honestly say that these last few months have been the most consistent I have ever trained. I always hated going to the gym, but these two have really helped whip my butt into shape (literally). Another pre-baby mama friend of mine even stepped up and has decided to run my ridiculous run with me. Crazy lady.
SO, I have made lots of progress in the physical realm. I am feeling strong and healthy and capable. I am very proud of myself for being as consistent as I have been (though I do always feel like I could be more prepared for the scary run coming up this weekend) and I am very grateful to all the wonderful people who have supported me in these goals.
What a doozy and eternal journey this one is. I have done 1 and a half medical food cleanses and tons of other supportive work, mostly focusing on HPA rehab. (HPA stands for the Hipothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. This is your body’s hormonal stress response system. Let’s just say mine has been over-taxed over the last 28 years…) I am now actually, regularly gluten-free as well. I have been on-and-off, non-strict gluten-free for a while now and it always felt like my actions were not congruent with my knowledge base. (I know WAY too much about wheat.) I did not have any GI symptoms related to wheat or anything like that, but I have to say that my brain has been working better the longer I am away from it. My memory is actually improving and I feel like I am thinking more clearly. I didn’t even know I wasn’t thinking clearly before; it’s like I leveled-up. I think my eyes are getting greener too… not sure if there is any relation. This week I retested using a Health Appraisal Questionnaire and Stress Identity Assessment that I had done a year ago and my measures all improved drastically using those objective scores as well.
SO, I have also made good progress in the chemical world, though there is always so much more to do! I am happy and satisfied being gluten-free, thrilled to have my HPA system supported the best it has ever been, and continuing to make positive changes.
There are definitely still many ups and downs in terms of my emotional readiness to have a baby. While I was obsessing about my ICPA exam, I was barely even human. I tend to let my left brain take over and become a robot when I am focused on a task like that; I feel like I need to retrain feelings and emotions. I am making a deliberate effort to do so, with a spontaneous regimen of going to the beach, chilling in the back yard, and lots of hugs and kisses. My stress levels are feeling manageable. The dog is doing a little bit better with his training too (which was a major stressor before and one of my pre-baby goals), but our dog trainer broke his leg, so we are at a bit of a stand-still now. The most interesting development in this realm is that my husband has reached a new level of readiness. He totally blew me away the other day when he said he was ready to “pull the goalie” any time. He feels as ready as ready as he is likely to ever feel and is actually looking forward to us going through this process together.
SO, overall, my emotional health is looking bright. The dog still needs some work, and I still need some work, but my husband Ben is ready, so I will call that a win.
Where do we go from here?
Next step: run 50K of trail in Squamish on Sunday. Then recover and develop a new routine to help me continue to develop a strong baby-ready body (and get ready for snowboard season).
After the run, my intention is to do a sugar detox. Confession time: I am still a sugar monster and this is one of the last demons that I need to defeat. I am intimidated but excited to finally take ownership over this evil. Anyone want to join me? Birth control methods are also going to be switching up soon, so watch for a post of that coming up.
Dog training should start picking up again in the Fall. September is looking like a very scary month at the moment, with me teaching, presenting, and working full-time and my hubby going back to school (and teaching and working). BUT, after September, life might actually normalize, which would be strange and wonderful and I am looking forward to the new dynamic of steadiness.
PHEW. There has been a lot going on! I hope that this helps provide some insight into my life over the last 8 months. It felt like it was time for an update and I am ready to tackle the next phase of this exciting journey.