My First Podium

Annika Ruth Neuschwander here with another guest entry and my first race report.

My mom and I headed out the door to Liberty Station for the San Diego classic. We did a different triathlon that the rest of the racers. It was made up of burp, diaper, feed instead of swim, bike, run. It was my mom's first time driving with me and boy did she seem nervous. I wasn't nervous and I was only 7 days old and headed to my first triathlon.

My Dad went really fast. It helped he had a nice joust going with his friend Paul and I think my being there to cheer him on helped. Hopefully, he couldn't see that I was sleeping from inside the Moby Wrap. It was just so warm and snuggly.

We got to the event in time to see my Daddy twice on the bike and several times on the run. It was an Olympic distance which is about a 1/4 of a Full Ironman. I'll be honest I don't know how anybody can do a full Ironman because to be honest I couldn't keep my eyes open for the Olympic distance.

I sure did love my first podium experience. It was the highlight of my day. I had a lot of first this week. Unfortunately later that day my Mom got a high fever and we took our first (and hopefully) last trip to the ER. I was a BIG, BIG help in the ER. They couldn't not bring me because my Mom has to feed me but because I am so small they took us to the ortho room in the back of the ER. (Less germs in the ortho room) and saw us right away. I was really good in the ER. My parents couldn't believe it. I was just glad they were drawing my Mom's blood and not mine. My Mom says if postpartum you have a really, really bad headache and flu like symptoms that you can't attribute to anything else you are probably developing mastitis and get it taken care of right away. She didn't really think that was going to come on so hard and fast. Unlike in triathlon or labor when there is option of an epidural in motherhood there is no SAG wagon and she had to feed me all night long with her fever. She didn't mind though as she loves snuggling with me.

So after some IV antibiotics and a few days of playing around with oral antibiotics since they had a hard time finding one she wasn't resistant to (from spending over the last decade working in ICU with germs and bacteria) She was on the mend. On postpartum Day #11 I heard her say "Waiter, check please! We are moving on".

We headed off to Mission Bay Park for a "walk" . She walked about 3 steps and then we ran. Not fast, and not super gracefully getting used to the stroller  but we did it.I guess the human body bounces back quick.  I love the BOB stroller. It's really fun when my Daddy pushes me. We fly. My Mom is a bit winded and I think leans against the stroller like a geriatric walker but I better not give her a hard time about it as she bore me.

On top of running my Dad is teaching me to do pull ups. Boy are they hard work!

In other news I had my first bath this week. Let the record state: I didn't cry. I am a water baby.

Well it's time for me to eat and sleep some more.

9/10/11: Welcome to the World Annika Ruth Neuschwander


Hello there world, Annika Ruth Neuschwander here, reporting for my mom who has been a bit busy lately. Actually she's not that busy. Sometimes I fnd here just staring at me. Anyhoo, I was born at 8:30 p.m. on 9/10/11. As soon as I was born people started cuddling and cooing over me. I like it that way. They took good care of my and my mom in the hospital, but I like home much better. I kept getting woken up for vital signs and disturbed while eating. This one takes the cake, can you believe they poked me and drew my blood. As if coming through the birth canal wasn't enough for one day?

This is me in my going home outfit. It was a gift from my mom's "Little Grandma" 34 years ago and she wore it home from the hospital. My Grandma Judi saved it for all those years tucked away in a cedar chest. I weighed 8 lb 7 oz at birth. Guess what? So did my Mom and so did her mom. I liked the ride home in the car seat. 

This is my comfy basinett. My Dad slept in it, my Uncle Seth slept in it and my Grandpa Bruce slept in it ....but I am the first girl to ever sleep in the basinett. Well minus some dolls, but they really don't count. The hat I am wearing my mom made for me on the plane to Switzarland. She didn't know if I was a boy or girl then. Can you beleive I skied the Alps 6 months before I was born? The liner of the basinett was made by my Grandma Judy with leftover material from the quilt my Garndma Cindy made. These people are a team! And the blanket ensuring my toes don't get cold was made by my Great Aunt Nancy . It is warm and it is snuggly. Gee, I sure had a lot of people working for me while I was in the womb. It's nice to be loved!

One of my Mom's teachers in the parenting class said the Moby wrap was best for new born babies. My mom thought she was a little hippy dippy but look how snuggly I am. My mom, my dad, and I "LOVE" the moby wrap. It is so comfy and I feel like I'm included in everything.

My mom, my dad, and I "LOVE" the moby wrap. It is so comfy and I feel like I'm included in everything. I am a really good helper.  See me in the garage helping my Dad my mom's trainer bike ready. Yup, she get's the bike, I get the motorized swing. Do I not have the better end of the deal?

 See me in the garage helping my Dad my mom's trainer bike ready. Yup, she get's the bike, I get the motorized swing. Do I not have the better end of the deal? My Dad didn't want me to get greasy so he hid me under the apron.

Next up details of my first fun outing.!!!!

Week40: Where's the Beef?

Today is D-day. Where is the baby? Where's the beef? 

It's not that I am so uncomfortable. It's that I am impatient. I mean by the due day one should want to meet their baby right? Hello! It's Christmas morning!  I am not  allowed to open the presents under the tree?  Bah Hum Bug!

The events of yesterday should have moved that baby out. I swam short course, aka flip turned myself silly and voluntarily did a few laps of real butterfly (not one arm). Later I went back to the pool and aqua jogged. No signs of labor. I thought athletes were supposed to have their babies a little early?  Hmph! Of course, I have read that being in the water makes the uterus very "happy and relaxed" and it is often recommended as a way of finding comfort during early labor and false labor. Hmm, maybe too much pool time?  Well, I have to do something to stay sane/fit/and cool.  Maybe my uterus needs to drink a glass of "Liven Up" and squeeze that baby out. 

 Since Wednesday's  5X 200 M test set and  yesterdays real butterfly failed to motivate my uterus yeah I blame the uterus for being lazy not the baby  I went to Costco ( think heat wave: hot car and parking lot). I hauled home and unpacked the loot of course sweating the whole time thinking dehydration can causes preterm labor. No signs of labor. I realize my mistake. Costco is not near unpleasant enough, should have tried Walmart. From the official People of Walmart website....

On second thought. Maybe a post term baby isn't such a big deal. Good thing I have a stack of 4 library books to keep me busy. I'll read some mindless chic -lit that will be good.

Not willing to give up I launched into a cleaning attack.

 I don't clean well or often which is why it is worth blogging about.  For the record I am a member of the "I hate soap scum, dust, and cleaning products." Mostly, I really hate soap scum. I sweat for hours and apparently it did not induce full term labor, just left me with a stuffy nose from cleaning and a head ache.
I hate soap scum!

Just before 4:00 p.m. the power went out. At first I thought it was just my neighborhood and no big deal. Then I learned it was much bigger. The power went out for all of San Diego, to Orange County, parts of Arizona and Mexico. Since signals were out traffic was super jammed up. Tim left his car in the garage at work and ran the 9 miles home from work. Don't you love fitness as a emergency plan? I do. While we were eating dinner on our patio I noticed the  moon looked mostly full  I thought this situation is so strange the baby will come for sure. Nope!

Maybe today! Today would be  good day to give birth seeing as my groceries are stocked up, the house is clean, no city/school pools are open because they called off school last night and energy conservation request for today. Although couldnt you just see me at 40 weeks pregnant scaling the fence to get into the nice cool clean pool water? I don't think being dilated to 2cm and swimming in the ocean would be a great idea in light of the 3.2 million gallon sewage spill caused by the outage.

On the bright side of things according to Baby Center at 40 weeks the baby is now the size of a pumpkin.

Thankfully, they said a small pumpkin.

Tim keeps saying "Our baby is going to cry!!!!"

 I know all babies cry.  I am eternally optimistic and counter "She might not cry that much." Yes, I know all babies cry. Compared to my brothers (who must have been real cry babies ;) I didn't cry that much when I was a baby. I learned to be a whiner over the years. like I'm whining now. Seriously, my mom thought something was wrong with me and brought it up to the Doctor.

Tim also says "Our baby is going to be fat" Well all babies are fat, even if they are preterm, babies are not lean in terms of body composition. I think me not crying had a lot to do with me having lots of fat. Yup, I was a fat full term baby. I was a fatty! Apparently being born in the Midwest had nothing to do with my fatness.

 The good thing about staying in utero for the full 40 weeks is that she'll be a bit fatter, stronger and have a bit larger tummy than say if I gave birth 5 weeks ago. We are not going to talk about how I am going to manage delivering the "growing by the minute" child inside of  me.This all translates to Baby N having fewer reasons to cry. That has to be a good thing. I consistently point this out to Tim , who responds. "She's going to be a porker, Oink Oink, Oink, and she is going to crrrrryyyyy  " If only she would show up to prove execute some girl power and prove him wrong!

Rumor has it Baby N is waiting for the weekend to show up. See I am still a racer at heart and lots of races are going on. Good luck to (in alphabetical order) my San Diego friends  Beth, Lesley, Julie, Nooka and Stacy racing at Half Ironman Worlds this weekend. I think racing a Half Ironman in the hills  and heat outside of Vegas sounds comparable to labor. Of course labor is a bit harder to train for, on the flip side I get an IV, a call bell and drugs if I want them. I know I have them at the call bell. I also have a smack talking special bet with Stacy, that I can deliver my child in less time than she can do the race. I really don't think I can win this one  knowing ball park figure what she will do in a half and ball park figure of first time delivery. However, it's motivation for both of us and what's life without a bit of smack.
Happy weekend.

Week 39: Too Fat to Fly

I know what  you are thinking. Something along the lines of "Honey, hang it up, you are pregnant. Get off the weight, get off the Hagen Daaz and get ready to give birth. But that's not the case. I gave up any aspirations of flying when I waxed my skis for storage or hung up my mountain bike. That was soooo two trimesters ago.

It's Petunia I'm worried about.For a duck who brushed with death she seems to be thriving. In fact, I think she has become fat. Too fat to fly. Seriously, she looks full grown but she does not fly. She flaps her wings but she does not fly. I do not think she needs another duck to teach her how. She taught herself how to swim. Flying should be instinctual as well.

I know her water is filthy, but she likes it that way I swear!

Apparently she has it good here. A toddler pool, a garden, a hutch and bowls full duck/hen feed with no competition. It's hard to say if she likes it here, she's a duck. Always indignant, beeping at you with annoyance.
What other lucky duck gets such a nice hutch to sleep in at night?

She really only comes around and acts a little attached and loving when her food bowl is empty. Maybe she could survive in the wild, but I'm not sure she could survive in a park. She turns up her beak at bread in quite a snotty manner. I've tried high protein bread, honey white bakery bread and even gluten free bread. Petunia is not interested.

Apparently, she thinks she is above a dog crate and would rather sleep inside.
I guess you could blame the parents in this situation just like with childhood obesity. Maybe we've overfed her. I will have you know I drove all the way to Del Mar to get her hormone free feed. That's got to be like shopping from Wholefoods. Maybe she doesn't get enough exercise. When I come around she seems active. She waddles around the garden inspecting things. She shows off her swimming skills and splashes in her pool. However, I have caught her several times curled up sleeping in the shade when she thinks I am not watching. Maybe she's just too lazy to fly.

What is week 39 for me? We have established that I am not capable of flying.

Well last weekend was HOT. The pool water was HOT. I was just a bit cranky as I was sweating sitting in front of a fan. felt a bit like sloth, singing "stand by your fan" I termed myself an Oompa Loompa .

Sadly, after reviewing the picture I realize Oompa Loompa's despite having a horrid BMI our much smaller than me. I more like a whale, but not a beached one, but an efficient sea creature.

Numbers don't lie. At 38 weeks 5 days I swam this week's test set at masters swim faster than prior weeks and probably  faster than I ever have before. Disclaimer: I never swam this much when I was capable of riding my bike 200 miles/week.  400M, 200M,100M freestyle on 7:19, 3:29, 1:38 respectively and respectfully. This is meters not yards and meters are longer. I post this here so in future I will hold myself to these times.

I think this is a testament to gaining swim efficiency, perhaps improving stroke form, and not loosing too much fitness. Disclaimer: I am now on maternity leave so I have more time. I have never swam so consistently as the past 6 months. At some point in life we all take a deep breath and say to our self or someone else "just do what you can". Now I can utter those words with a bit of validation. I'll remember I did what I could and had a bit of success. It's nice when the numbers on the time clock validate your effort. Especially when the numbers on the scale have no place to go but up :)

Side note: Now that I have just been Holly high on myself and Polly Positive I must admit that the pressure of beating the preceding weeks times has become too great ,compounded by the  scheduled switch to short course which means double the flip turns. The test set changes each month and I might not like the September test set.  Rumor has it to be 8*100 yds. This calculates to 23 darn flip turns with half the time for recovery as long course. It's really easy to goof up a flip turn when you have managed to contain most 39 weeks of gestational growth within your 5'3 torso yeah there is a bit more padding in my butt, thighs, arms, chest and face. but shhhh!!!! It's a secret. Anyway a goofed up flip turn can cost a lot of time.  If I don't have the confidence I can swim 100   yrds faster than 100m then I am going to come up with a good excuse to miss test day. For example, I will have a baby on  or prior to next Wednesday's test set and nobody will guess I just didn't want to be timed doing 23 flip turns.
Family heirlooms: Rocking chairs and bassinet. Tim's guitar for lullaby's and a soft, fluffy rug.

You could say I am nesting. I've spent a great deal of time going to Target, organizing, cleaning, arranging and rearranging the nursery, because I can never get things right the first time. Case in point suspending this bike from the ceiling was no easy task. Having my child drift off to sleep with sweet dreams of riding a pink bike is very important.
Note:This bike is not suspended above baby's bed in case of earthquake.

Yesterday, I spent a freakish amount of time and energy going to Target, Henry's, vacuuming, mopping and organizing only to mess up the mopping and eat half the produce today. I organized baby clothing not just by size on the label but actual size. It turns out baby brands participate in psychological sizing too. Anyway, this over the top behavior made me think the baby might actually be coming sooner vs. later and I worked like a woman trying to meet a qualifying time or somebody trying to finish Ironman with no glow sticks when the sun was setting. They say it's hormonal which is true. I also would say that when you are one week from D-day, there's a bit of rationale FEAR that kicks you in the pants. Hello! Does anybody really want to figure out being a first time parent and deal anything else? Seriously, who in their right mind wants to return home with a new baby to a messy home with no food, especially when you know you'll have guests? Seriously is anybody that stupid. I mean it 's different if you are 30 weeks and I know it may seem pregnancy could last forever, but to record PREGNANCY HAS NEVER LASTED FOREVER. At week 39, hormones or common sense?
You are an ICU nurse when you feel compelled to label things just like IV tubing.