More first trimester travel!

I just got back from the Fitbloggin’ conference in Denver, where every year we get to connect in person with our sweat pink community, speak, and lead a workout for attendees. It’s always a blast and usually full of some crazy, sleep-less antics.

Things sometimes get weird.
Things sometimes get weird.

I was really nervous about the trip this year, since it fell solidly in my first trimester and going to conferences is exhausting even when I’m in top form. I usually come home sick and in need of about a week’s worth of sleep.

Knowing that this year would be extra challenging, I did my best to prepare: I packed my blandest rice cakes and ziplocs of dry cereal in my carry-on (already practicing for motherhood, woot!), brought along a stash of pregnancy tea, and forewarned Jamie and Liz that I might be, well, kind of pathetic.

fitbloggin15

And I was kind of pathetic. I skipped the first early morning bootcamp with Erin—who always teaches a super high energy, fun, butt-kicking class—well, truth be told, I skipped all workouts. I did a total of one down dog and one jump squat, and both attempts quickly bitch slapped me back into my hunched over comfort place. In addition to sitting out each of the workouts, I took a few rest breaks in between sessions. I just needed some horizontal time, even if I wasn’t able to nap.

Special K, one of the sponsors, had some amazing salty chips there. I think I singlehandedly cleaned out their booth.

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Overall, though, I had a pretty incredible weekend. It was a bright spot in the first trimester, both in terms of professional development and fun, but also in how I was feeling. I was nauseous and tired, but not debilitatingly so, and I was mostly able to function like a normal person. It helped so much that I was public about the pregnancy—no one questioned my lack of energy or bizarre food habits.

The only moment where I thought I might not make it happened toward the end of our presentation. I started getting super queasy, feeling like I might vomit all over the projector and the audience if I didn’t sit down. Luckily Jamie stepped in and did most of the talking and I just stood there and faked it til I made it.

I’m so lucky that my work wifey and I know each other so well that we sense when the other one needs a rescue. She just knew when to step in and lead the show. (Not to mention, she’s a WAY better presenter than I am, so everyone won!).

Things that are funny about going to a fitness conference while pregnant:

  • You don’t do any of the workouts
  • It’s odd covering your plate with white foods when you’re surrounded by over a hundred rainbow colored, extra healthy plates.
  • Not having a glass of wine at the end of the day or at the networking events is a total bummer.

I’m so grateful that our conference will happen, officially, during my second trimester. I’ll be 14 weeks at BlogFest and I had better be feeling good. There’s NO OTHER OPTION.

The BEST part of the weekend, though, was getting to visit my three adorable godchildren. How cute are they?!

meira turner zev

My friend, who started her own law firm to help people start families—whether through surrogacy, adoption, egg donation, IVF, etc—sponsored an event dedicated to raising awareness about fertility, and it was so cool to see her firm represented. (I’m so proud!!)

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I am beyond proud of her and loved getting to see her in action. If you’re in Denver and thinking about starting a family, CALL HER.

Nausea is the new normal

When the first tri queasies started making their presence known, I attacked them with vigor. It feels like a combination of a flu and a hangover, so I figured I had some tried and true strategies for dealing with a mushy brain, low energy, and that icky feeling in my stomach.

Hangovers, especially, I’ve had some practice with, and those are pretty reliable. You know they end before too long, as long as you can ply them with enough greasy carbs, hydration, iced coffee, and plain old time. So I attacked my queasies with vigor. Potato chips, pasta, toast, boxed mac’n’cheese. Bland carbs, generously salted, heaped upon bland carbs, and washed down with as much juice and water as I could stomach. I stayed away from caffeine and gatorade because even the smell of coffee makes me want to ralph, and gatorade is full of all sorts of weird shit, but otherwise, I stuck to my hangover game plan and eagerly waited for results.

I’ve eaten a criminal amount of pasta and potato chips over the last couple weeks, and the results haven’t come yet. The thing is, it doesn’t get better. Eating that bagel might distract you from how you feel for a few moments, but you go right back to feeling the same way afterward. The sight of hash browns might not make you run for the bathroom the way that chicken or tomatoes might, but eating them doesn’t soak up the nausea. It doesn’t even really mask the nausea, because you can only take a few bites before you get out of breath from lifting fork to mouth. Also, it’s nap time again.

At this point, I’m trying to convince myself to just proceed as normal. To accept that the way I feel is my normal right now, and nothing I do is going to make it better. Sure, I can avoid the sight and smell of animal flesh as much as possible, and do my best to not gag on the foods I ate yesterday, which are now associated with nausea, but that’s it. I have to adjust my standards, or I’m going to spend the next 6 weeks feeling increasingly ragey about how I’m not doing the things I love to.

So this is my normal. This lethargic, nap-prone, fuzzy brained, always-about-to-puke state of being is just how it’s going to be until (fingers crossed) second trimester. I’ve got to accept that walking my dog two blocks to the park is my exercise for now, and that taking a nap at 9:30am is just how I roll.

Here we go. Second trimester, please don’t let me down.

Every time is nap time

napping with tigger

Today I took a nap at 9:30am. I’d been up for about 3 hours, and gotten a reasonable amount of stuff done. Especially for a Sunday morning. I took the dog out, I attempted to eat breakfast, I checked my email, and I sat on the couch with my head between my knees doing some deep breathing.

Then, I just had to close my eyes. Literally there was no way to keep them open, so I succumbed, and crawled back to bed, until 10:30.

If only that hour of sleep could have come at 3am, when I was wide awake for no apparent reason.

tigger napping

Napping. #Justdoit.

It feels so good…

To be out of the closet now. Keeping secrets is hard.

skirt sports jumping
This photo is obviously from a pre-nausea era. Jumping is so out of my wheelhouse right now it kind of makes me sick to even think about. Wearing: Skirt Sports Jette Skirt, #sweatpink tank

 

Begrudgingly ordering decaf at 8am on Monday or a mocktail at 6pm on a Friday is hard.

Dodging social invitations because I can’t lift my head up off the pillow is hard.

Posting workout shots on Instagram and pretending they’re current makes me feel like a shifty, no-count liar.

Nodding and smiling when someone diagnoses my malaise as “maybe the flu” or “could be allergies!” and offers some remedies feels disingenuous and weird.

Now that alien is public, I’m just telling everyone, indiscriminately. I told the barista today after ordering my herbal tea (yawn, herbal tea. You are so not interesting) and got a high five. I told a Meetup friend via text that’s why I’ve been (un)conveniently unavailable for her happy hour invitations and got a “how can I help?”

It’s so nice to come out of hiding, and flaunt my nausea without shame.

Bring it, world.*

 

* Just kidding. I’d actually really like this to be over. I’m willing to negotiate. Whatever it takes.

First trimester vacations: keep your expectations low

I just got back from a glorious trip to Hawaii to visit my husband’s family. My sister in law moved to Maui a few years ago, and ever since the whole family has gone to visit every year. I know, I know, my life is rough.

alyse tree pose hawaii

I look forward to this trip every year. I’d never been to Hawaii before she moved there (thank you, S, a million times thank you!), and though I’d heard plenty about it, I had no idea just how magical a place it is. It’s home to one of my favorite beaches of all time, where the water is warm and crystal clear, the sand soft, and pretty little fishes frolic around. Swimming at that beach is about as close to heaven as I can imagine. And the place where the whole family gathers has a pool so deep I can revisit my childhood fantasies of being a mermaid, and spend plenty of time playing with my nieces and nephews.

prana digging

This year was a, ahem, different trip. Swimming is possibly one of my favorite activities, but this year in paradise, I spent more time watching Game of Thrones than I did in the ocean and pool combined. Out of the ten days I was there, I made it into the ocean exactly once, and it was pretty anticlimactic.

Here’s how it went down:

We got up nice and early (thanks, time zones!) and I actually felt almost normal. Minimal nausea, pretty good energy, so I knew I needed to take advantage. My husband drove me to my favorite beach, about 30 minutes from where we stay. Kind of a hike, but so, so worth it. We swam for about 20 minutes before I felt the familiar fatigue creeping in, and I had to go lay down on my towel. A few minutes, and most of a can of Pringles later (breakfast of champions!), I was so. hot, in a panicky, get me out of the sun kind of way. Normal Alyse is pretty sun-sensitive, but pregnant Alyse is downright pathetic.

pringles on the beach cropped

We got back in the car as I wrapped up that can of Pringles. Before we made it out of the parking lot, I was nodding off. You know that kind of falling asleep when you’re riding a train or a plane and you jerk yourself awake, over and over again, but you just can’t keep your eyes open? That happened the whole way back.

It was almost beyond me to rinse off the sand and the ocean before collapsing back into bed.

It was 8:30am.

And that was my best day. Most other days I spent doing my best to lie in the shade by the pool, then shuffling back to bed. There was at least one nap every day. Instead of fresh fish and juicy tropical fruits, I ate a lot of bread, crackers, string cheese, and chicken broth.

lap swimming hawaii

This is me pretending to swim laps, so I’d have something to post on Instagram during my trip. It’s one of two total times I actually got in the pool.

In a lot of ways, it didn’t feel like a vacation, and I told my husband I needed a tropical redo once I was back in action. But I will say, being there with family—who were so, so supportive and kind and understanding—was way better than being at home, where no one yet knew why I was so wiped out. My sister in law is a midwife, too, so I had the chance to ask all sorts of questions, and she brought me some supplements that are supposed to help with nausea. More on those in an upcoming post!

Like with everything else this trimester, vacation was all about adjusting my expectations. It’s really hard to admit that when 1pm rolls around I just need to nap, and it’s even harder to confess how I basically spent my tropical vacation, indoors, in bed, when I’d much rather be coming home a pruny, sunburned mess from too much time spent in the water.