The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Here we are at nearly 39 weeks. The nursery is ready. The house is ready. We’ve read books, we’ve mentally prepared, we have bags partially packed, ingredients on hand to make homemade cookies for our labor team once it’s go-time, and I’ve got all my postpartum care supplies ready and waiting. Waiting. That is what we have left to do.

Since starting to practice yoga, I’ve been fairly in tune with my body and aware of any changes. This makes the waiting even more frustrating as I can feel all these subtle changes, but at the same time there is no precise sign that says “hey, this is happening today or tomorrow, or not until next week.” I’m noticing more of a pronounced waddle – which is my hips expanding and opening in preparation for birth, an observation which is corroborated by my fabulous chiropractor who has noticed increased movement in my pelvic region. I can feel Baby G has dropped. His feet, which used to jut out to the left when looking down at my stomach as he stretched out, now they stretch out farther up into my rib cage indicating he has more vertical room and his head has descended. I have to pee every. 30. minutes. At least!

What triggers labor is still a mystery, but apparently it is the precise combination of hormones from both mom and baby. I have to trust that when Baby G is ready, and even though I might feel ready maybe my body just isn’t quite there yet, that this incredible process will begin. So for now, I just need to keep busy and find a few new projects to keep myself distracted.

Luckily, I have my writing as an outlet. So, for the next few days I’ll talk about my experience with pregnancy, what we’ve found helpful, the birth we have in mind, the resources we’ve engaged, and anything else I can think to offer. That being said, pregnancy and birth is an incredibly personal experience. I’m sharing mine in the hopes others might find the information helpful, but not in any way from the view point that this is the “right” way. It is *a* way, and what has worked for me personally given my background, experiences, and values.

The most important thing to remember, and which I remind myself of constantly, is that I have to listen to my body and my intuition. Take what serves you, leave the rest. This is when it comes to advice from friends and family, from that expert in the book, and even when it comes to your care providers. Certain things are absolutely necessary, others can stand some questioning and may even be avoided if that is what you feel is right for you and your pregnancy.

If I were to impart only one nugget of advice, I recommend finding an experience that makes you feel involved, empowered and informed.

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The Things I Do For Love

Long-time readers of this blog, or knowers of me, are well aware that I have a severe needle phobia. Actually, to call it a needle phobia is an understatement. I have a crippling fear of any kind of medical work which involves me, my blood, pointy objects extracting my blood or touching my skin, and doctors in general. So, deciding to get pregnant was the ultimate in forced therapy. After a few months of actual cognitive therapy, some intensive internal work, and good medication, at 28 weeks pregnant I was able to accomplish my first ever blood draw. And I mean ever. Nearly 30 years of life and I’d escaped with no more than a finger prick or two and no shots since middle school.

After jumping that hurdle, I thought when my nurse midwife told me I should get a Tdap vaccine to help protect Baby G from pertussis (whooping cough), that it would be no sweat. Then, she told me they didn’t offer them at the birth center due to requirements around storing vaccines, so I could just pop into a CVS or Target – really any pharmacy, and just get one. That’s when I started to get nervous. It is one thing to face your fear in a nicely decorated room with a nurse midwife you’ve been bonding with over the past few months, some relaxing music, effective medication, and your husband squeezing your hand. It is another to walk up to a Publix pharmacist and ask them to perform a procedure on you in the middle of a grocery store which is literally the thing you fear most in the entire world. Like, seriously. I can’t undersell this. I’m so okay with child birth, and totally terrified of a tiny needle. Why? Because one is totally my body going into action and doing something it was programmed to do. The other is trusting someone else to inflict pain on my body for ultimately good reasons. It’s a mental thing. Totally mental.

So, yesterday was the day. Although he probably didn’t need it, I asked Brian to go with me and get one too. I then asked him to go first, totally chickened out myself, violently ugly cried, and told him this wasn’t happening. Poor Publix pharmacist. Probably the worst day of work he ever had. He was super nice and patient though. Mad props to Publix. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to do it, honestly, except for the nurses I’d been working with at my birth center. So we left the pharmacy area. I was so mad at myself, but just couldn’t face my fear. We go to check out (because we also came to buy groceries, duh), and I’m just mentally berating myself. The check out lady starts looking at Brian like he is a horrible person because my face is all red from my ugly cry. I can’t stand to hear her kindly asking if I’m okay, so I stalk off to the bathroom to give myself a pep talk.

“You can do this,” I say. “You will not let your baby be 1 of the 20 who die each year because you can’t handle a stupid prick which will take less than 5 seconds of your life. You are going to get back out there, walk up to the counter, and let Ryan (the pharmacist) give you this damn shot.”

And I did. Because already, I love this damn kid more than anything in the world. And although the chance might be a tiny one, whatever I can do to protect him where I can, I’m going to do it. And, just like my dad and mom used to do for me when I got those shots back in the day, I treated myself to ice cream after.

View More: http://amyeroberts.pass.us/guildmaternity

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Miss or Mister?

This weekend we held our gender reveal party for Baby G.

Disclaimer: To be completely accurate it would have been called a “sex” reveal since I acknowledge that gender-identity is not synonymous with biological sex; however, hosting a sex reveal party raises some eyebrows as to the family-friendliness of the event. Therefore, we conformed to the PC term “gender” reveal. We did find a few ways to work in the correct terminology. Example #1 below, keep your eye out for #2.

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The event was absolutely fantastic. My sister pulled everything together and did an amazing job. We were surrounded by friends, family, good food, and a few games.

After stuffing our faces at the incredible spread, we polled the attendees on which of us was most likely to perform a series of actions related to Baby G. For example, by overwhelming agreement we determined that Brian should under no circumstances sing lullabies (not really, just my opinion), but he should totally serve initial diaper duty, and that I’m more likely to be obsessively Instragramming our bundle of joy. Oh, and after selecting that Brian would be giving more midnight feedings, I realized that he lacks the proper equipment (ahem, the boobs) and so I corrected my answer.

Next up was a series of scientific inquiries intended to predict the sex of Baby G. And by scientific inquiry, I mean totally unproven Old Wives Tales.

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But, were they accurate? A final contest of agility and coordination would ultimately reveal Miss or Mister for our little nugget.

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That blue splatter means that it’s a boy! Brian and I are absolutely thrilled to welcome Campbell James Guild to our family this Spring. I wouldn’t want to begin my son’s social media history with a picture of his junk, but let’s just say it is definitely a boy. No question about it.

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I’m not cut out for Vegas (aka a travel guide for someone who hates gambling)

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. It was my first visit back to the Strip since I was freshly 21 – so nearly 9 years ago. Let’s just say, it will probably be at least another 9 years for me to forget yet again why I am not cut out for Vegas and decide to make a return trip. That’s the schedule me and Sin City have. We reconnect every 6-9 years, realize it isn’t going to work out, and go our separate ways.

My first trip was when I was about 15. Our family was on a cross-country trek in an RV that was going to last most of the summer. I think it was around 2002 or 2003, and my main concern was making my parents as aware as possible that I was extremely upset they were forcing me on a tour of the US when all I wanted was to spend the summer with my boyfriend. Ah, the stupidity of youth. What I wouldn’t give to go on that trip now that I actually realize how awesome it was to see the Grand Canyon, the California sequoias, Yellowstone, and numerous other national treasures.  One stop on our tour was Vegas, and our first date was a good one. I wandered the Strip, taking in the amazing decadence of each casino and spending my parent’s money at the shops at Caesar’s. We visited Circus Circus and rode the indoor rides. Between the lights, the shopping and the coasters, I was enamored. I couldn’t wait to go back when I was old enough to drink and gamble. It was a typical first date. We were both on our best behavior.

My second date with Vegas was a few months after my 21st birthday. My mom and my three aunts and I decided to take a girls’ weekend. We had high hopes of winning big and living large. My mom won a few hundred bucks on a slot machine. Me – I lost my modest budget of $300. I’d never seen money vanish so fast. And that’s when I learned that I hate gambling. That, and that you really shouldn’t gamble if you aren’t emotionally stable enough to lose. As a poor college student working two jobs, I worked too darn hard for my money. There is nothing worse for my competitive and logic-based brain, and my anxiety-laden psyche, then trying to figure out how to find some semblance of skill and strategy in games of pure and random chance. I did, however, enjoy the shows. We saw Bette Midler and she was absolutely fabulous. We all took a trip up the Eiffel Tower. Nonetheless, Bette & faux Paris weren’t enough for me to continue a love affair with Vegas. When our flight was cancelled and we were forced to spend an unplanned night in a crappy motel room off the Strip, I was cursing Vegas and vowed never to return.

Nine years had passed, and now that I was a fairly successful adult with disposable income and a wonderful husband as a travelling companion, the faults I found with Vegas in the past seemed just a matter of circumstance. I thought that this time I’d be able to set a budget and be okay if I lost the money set aside for gambling. I was wrong. By the time I’d saw my final chip lost to the roulette table, I was near tears. Why, for the love of all that is good, could I not win once?! Slots – lost. Roulette- lost. Blackjack – lost $300 in a blink. I mean, come on! I was losing my money so fast I wasn’t even able to have any fun with it. Finally, after our third date, I learned that Vegas and I just aren’t compatible. I am not one of those types who likes the thrill of trying to win big. I’d rather just keep my money. Should Vegas and I attempt to reconnect again, I’ll stick to dining, shopping and shows. The casinos and I just aren’t meant to be.

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It wasn’t all bad. I scored a cute pair of black booties at a steal. I ate the most delicious Spanish tapas in the gorgeous Aria. We laughed (and cringed a bit) during a variety vaudeville and Burlesque act called Absinthe. We got a dose of political satire and incredible slight-of-hand from Penn & Teller. When the soul-sucking casino games drew our final dollar from us, we retreated to our room and paid way too much for a pay-per-view movie, but there is nothing better than curling up with my honey. After all, $20 for nearly two hours of entertainment is quite the bargain in Vegas. Alone and away from it all, Brian and I got a chance to really connect and have a few deep conversations – one while we gazed over a panoramic view of the Strip while dining on Alaskan king crab legs and filet. Oh, and we saw Britney, bitch.

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Maybe I’ll give that crafty vixen one more try after all…

If you are looking for a non-gambling centered visit to Vegas, full of food and entertainment, here are my recommendations:

Day 1

  • If you are travelling from the East Coast, reminder that Las Vegas is on virtually the opposite side of the country. It is waaay closer to California than I remembered. We still managed to tough it out and fit in a great dinner and show. To get you in the Vegas mood, and help motivate you through the three hour time difference, do yourself a favor and check out Julian Serrano at Aria for Spanish tapas. The rioja was delicious (I only was able to have a sip because I’m preggers, but it was amazing!), the braised oxtail was the best thing on the menu, the pan con manchego was scrumptious, and there were a number of other dishes I wish I could have fit in. We made reservations, but it wasn’t too crowded on a Friday in January.
  • Next, keep yourself entertained with the fast-pace and raunchy humor of Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace. Be prepared for graphic descriptions you wish you could be unheard, but some of the most incredible acrobatics you will ever see. Not suitable for children.

Day 2

  • Do yourself a favor and contact The Massage Couple for a wonderful in-room massage. They offer a 90-minute massage and take the stress out of reading through a million spa reviews. Prices are much more reasonable than the hotel spas (most of which aren’t that well-rated). If you prefer a spa environment, and price isn’t a concern, then there are a number of great places to check out. Either way – take some time to relax.
  • After a relaxation session, head to Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris casino for a terrific French brunch. The ambiance is really great, and the food was amazing. We recommend the baked goat cheese and mussels. The fresh French baguettes are addicting, and the chocolate mousse is superb. Reservations are a must!
  • For the evening, pick one of the many concerts. We saw Britney, but there are a ton of others to choose from. A Vegas concert is more intimate than you’ll find other places. The Axis at Planet Hollywood, for example, only seats 4,600. Because they are shows with long runs, the stage and props are always spectacular.

Day 3

  • For breakfast, pick a buffet. They are all fairly comparable. We hit up the Spice Market at Planet Hollywood because that’s where we were staying. It was pretty decent and had a range of cuisines. (We don’t recommend the PH as a place to stay, however. Rooms were nicely sized, but our floor reeked of cigarettes, housekeeping was lousy, and they were stingy with towels. There are much nicer places to stay.)
  • Instead of gambling, shop the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood. There are tons of sales, and your $500 will go much farther! Just be sure you have room to take all your loot home.
  • For your last evening, catch a magic show. We saw Penn & Teller at the Rio. Be prepared for some political comedy and impressive slight-of-hand. If you are more into vanishing airplanes or gimmicks, then there are several other magicians to choose from. If you do wind up at The Rio, which is a little off the strip, then The Voodoo Steakhouse offers a good meal (although a little pricey). The view is pretty impressive and gives you a panoramic of the Strip. We split the Land & Sea so Brian could have his steak and I could have some delicious crab legs. There are certainly better meals- and at better value –  so don’t make the trip unless it’s convenient.

 

 

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Lazy writer, yep, sums it up

I was shocked to look at my blog and find I hadn’t written a post since April. I mean, I knew I had been slacking, but that’s the longest hiatus I’ve taken since starting my blog back in 2011. In my defense, I’ve had a lot going on.

I went on my bachelorette cruise to the Bahamas with my favorite people.

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I got married to my best friend.

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We built a house.

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Oh, and I’m working on my MBA. Plus, I’ve got that whole full-time job thing going on. So, totally lazy slacker over here. But, now that we are settling into our new home and hoping to avoid any major life changes for at least a little while, it is time to get back to it! I look forward to filling 2016 with more self-deprecating humor, foodie adventures, stories from my yoga journey, dog pictures and foster tales, and recounting my world travels.

I might pop back in for few more posts this month, but in the meantime, wishing you all a safe & happy holiday!

xoxo, Brittany

 

FlyWheel GlowRide – Like a rave, but with bikes instead of drugs

Earlier this week I wrote about my experience at BodyRock with Trophy Wife Fitness as part of the Yelp Quirks Out event series. I’ve been enjoying fun, ‘quirky’ workouts from fine fitness facilities all over Charlotte, and my experience at FlyWheel for their GlowRide event was every bit as fun as my evening with the TWF ladies – but this time we had glowsticks, and bikes. The last spin class I took was at the YMCA over five years ago. I was looking forward to giving FlyWheel a try because I have always enjoyed spin. This time I decided to do a little research before the class so I knew what I was getting into. After an evening with Jiya and the TWF ladies, I didn’t know whether to expect a nice, safe spin class or an impromptu booty shaking session. I wanted to be prepared.

Our instructor for the evening was Jenna, and she was adorable with a capital A and the energy turned ALL the way up.  From the moment I clipped into my bike with my fluorescent yellow necklaces and bracelets emitting a healthy glow, she started getting us pumped to spin. The lights went out, the music volume was jacked up, and looking into the mirror on the opposite wall all I could see was discombobulated glow jewelry in tones of purple, pink, yellow and blue. After a brief tutorial on how to adjust torque and RPMs, as well as how to  keep an eye on our Power output for the class so we could compare ourselves to our peers on the leader board (hey, nothing like a healthy bit of competition!), we were off. We jammed out to classics such as Pour Some Sugar on Me and some hip hop that I can’t recall the name of but thoroughly enjoyed. Jenna encouraged us to pace with the beat, and it was easy to do with the bass pumping loud in our ears.

Did I mention Jenna’s energy? She was right there with us the whole time, but with the added challenge of talking through the entire workout. The most amazing part is she hardly even sounded winded. I loved that we incorporated some upper body exercises into the class. They had a three and five pound bar weight you could easily grab from in the ‘saddle’ as they called it, and we did a brief but challenging series of bicep curls, tricep dips, and shoulder presses all while keeping our legs moving.

I thoroughly enjoyed the class, and the facilities were nice with towels and shoes offered to members. They have an easy check-in system and bike assignment so you aren’t lost searching for a bike. You can even track your stats using their online portal. Best part – they offered all participants a chance to come back again for another spin class or to try out FlyBarre. I’ll be booking my next class soon!

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Trophy Wife Fitness – It’s not what you think

Over the past two weeks I’ve been participating in a great event series from our local Yelp community called Yelp Quirks Out. My first event was a BodyRock class with Trophy Wife Fitness. To be honest, when I saw a two week period filled with fun, free workouts – I didn’t really pay too much attention to what I was signing up for. I saw key words like “trophy wife,” “aerial silks” and “sunset yoga,” and I signed up as fast as I could before the events filled up. Beyond reading the tagline, I didn’t do much research into what I was getting myself into. To put it simply, Jiya’s class was not at all what I imagined (but in a good way.)

The term “trophy wife” conjures – for me at least – an image of a slender, probably blonde, woman in a Lululemon ensemble with a huge rock on her finger, I expected leg lifts, maybe some squats, and most definitely an obligatory set of crunches. I wasn’t too pumped for Bethany Frankel to lead me through calisthenics, but hey – free workout? I’ll take it.

Jiya and her front line of ladies blew my image of Trophy Wife Fitness out of the water, and now when I think TW I see a beautiful, vibrant, and booty shakin’ goddess. That’s exactly what we did – or in my case, attempted to do. We shook our booties for 45 minutes to loud, powerful female vocals and had way too much fun doing it. The energy and enthusiasm in the room was infectious. It was impossible not to smile, laugh at my lack of both hips and rhythm, and just keep shaking it as hard as I could.

And as far as the intensity of the workout? I was sore for three days. Specifically in my *ahem* booty area. Those under the butt muscles (you know the ones), butt cheek muscles, and inner thigh muscles all had that nice, tortuous ache that simultaneously makes you super proud and super not into moving for awhile.

I’m looking forward to mixing up my regular yoga routine with some more TWF in the future.

Yelp Quirks Out BodyRock TWF

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