zucchini babies

What happened to June?  It was gone in a flash.  I feel like it was just the beginning of June and now it’s over.  It’s been a busy month.  School came to a close for the year.  We hosted our Grand Opening Event at CrossFit Hingham-a lot of work, but a success, I think.  My mom and I ran our only week of Art Camp for the summer.  I turned 35 on the 30th.   Yikes!  And now I’m looking forward to a very lazy July.

Actually, who am I kidding?  I will fill up my July with all sorts of commitments and projects.  That’s just how I operate.  But in the grand scheme of things, it will be a lot lazier than the rest of my year.

Things with baby Hannah are going well.  So far, so good.  I go for another ultrasound this week.  They’ll be taking growth measurements so we can know exactly how big she is.  It’s so crazy to think about having this mini human inside me.

I remember being shocked at how big the twins were when they were born.  Not because they were exactly big (just over a pound a piece).  But more so because I just couldn’t imagine how all of that was inside me.  I never really got very big with the twins so I was shocked that those two little guys were taking up that much space inside my belly.  I imagined giving birth to preemies that were the size of my hand.  But they were much bigger than I imagined.  Just over 12 inches long.  Still very tiny, but bigger than I’d pictured.  Which made it so much harder to accept that we couldn’t save them but….we couldn’t.

Even with Hannah, I still am in awe when I think about a little two pound body being inside me.  Where is she?  I mean, I can feel her, and I know my belly is growing and I’m getting bigger, but still….it’s crazy to think how much bigger she must already be than the twins were when they were born.  And yet, I struggle to really picture her in there somewhere!

I guess what I’m getting at is that we picture these little tiny things inside us.  But they are really not as teeny as we think.  You picture a pound and think it’s nothing.  But yet, when that pound comes out, and it’s an actual baby…it’s amazing.  And that little pound becomes larger than life.  My pregnancy apps tell me that at 26 weeks my baby is now the size of a large zucchini.  But I’ll tell you what.  My twins at 22 weeks were bigger than a zucchini.  So unless they are talking about a blue ribbon, prize winning zucchini at the state fair….I know my two pound little Hannah is bigger than what many of us would imagine.

IMG_1420

I can’t wait to meet her.  I’m so curious!  I wish I could take her out and look at her right now and compare her to the twins and what they looked like, but then put her back safely inside me to finish the job.  As eager as I am to meet her, I’m hoping to keep cooking this little bun in the oven right up to the 40 week mark!

 

milestone

“Ah, no one knows who makes evil storms.  We only know that they come.  When they come we must live through them as bravely as we can, and after they are gone, we must feel again how wonderful is life.  Every day of life is more valuable now than it was before the storm.”

-Kino’s Father from The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck

 

900-009

 

I’ve hit a major milestone today.  I am 22 weeks and 5 days into this pregnancy.  I’ve never been here before.

There is so much I could say.  So much about how I’m feeling.  But ultimately, all I want to say is thank you.

I am so grateful.  For all of this, for all of you, and for this gift of life.

happy me in may

I love May.  It might be my favorite month.  The weather is warmer, the sun light sticks around longer, and I get to spend more time out doors.  I am, without a doubt, a summertime girl, and my heart just sings a completely different tune this time of year.

But my heart has been singing an especially happy tune lately.  Let me share with you some of the little pleasures in my life this month!

10. CrossFit Hingham opened the doors to it’s new 10,000 square foot facility mid-April.  This month my focus has been to work on promotions and community outreach.  It’s exciting to see the gym grow and brainstorm ideas for the future.

IMG_1059

9. Baby K will be here soon and will make me an aunt for the first time.  We had my sister’s baby shower at the beginning of the month.  I got to spend some quality time with my mom making the favors for the shower, and they came out so cute.  Everything pulled together beautifully and it was just what she wanted.  Yay!

IMG_1077

8. Eric turned 30 on May 9th and I enjoyed spoiling him with gifts and good food all weekend!  I bought him a big expensive gift but I think what he liked most was the basket of 30 treats for his 30th that I put together for him.  We also discovered a great restaurant , Orta, right around the corner from us and had an outstanding birthday dinner there!

IMG_1128

7. Giuseppe’s Cakes didn’t disappoint!  I found out about this great bakery last year and I’ve ordered several birthday cakes from them. This year, though, I decided to ask for a custom cake with PBCs on top and in the middle layer.  Holy cow was this cake awesome!

IMG_1167

 

6.  I’ve been taking the dogs out for a walk on Sunday mornings.  It’s been beautiful out the last two Sundays and they get some much needed exercise.  We have a nice little loop that we do that takes us about 45 minutes and I think we all feel better after.

IMG_1164

5. We just wrapped up one of my favorite projects at school.  I have the kids imagine themselves as a super hero and write a story  featuring their super hero self.  They always come up with great stories, but this year’s crop of kids were just really into it.  The stories and pictures were some of the best I’ve seen in several years doing this project.

IMG_1168

4. The grilling season is here!  Food always tastes better when cooked on the grill.  My go to lately has been burgers, dogs, and grilled pineapple.  We started buying these Apple Gate hot dogs and I can’t get enough!

IMG_1087

3.   I just turned 20 weeks and am still allowed to work out with just a few restrictions.  All things considered, I have gotten some really good workouts in lately and still feel relatively strong.  Hoping I can keep it up as long as possible.

10246328_743789102311320_7400905582799914709_n

2.  To celebrate the fact that I’m still in the gym and not on bed rest, I bought myself a new pair of kicks.  Can’t wait for these to arrive!!

IMG_1177

 

1.  ……and the single most important reason that my heart is just full of happiness and purpose……I’m growing my little Hannah Rose, complete with the cutest little button nose I’ve ever seen.  So in love already.

IMG_1179

breaking my silence

I’ll confess, I’ve been avoiding my blog.  Truth is, I didn’t want to write if I couldn’t be genuine.  And I wasn’t quite ready to put it out there.  But I think it’s time.  Time to start writing again, and time to start sharing what’s really going on in my life.

Pregnancy #2.  And I’ve passed a major milestone.  I got a great report at my 18 week ultrasound last week.  No cervix issues as of right now.  That’s when everything started to fall apart with the boys so I’ve been holding my breath this entire time, not letting myself really get too excited.

Words cannot express the relief I feel.

I’m not kidding myself into thinking that everything will go just fine this time.  There’s a million other things that could go wrong and trust me, I’m not going to be that naive again to think that it couldn’t happen to me.  BUT.  I am letting my guard down just enough.  Enough to get excited about this pregnancy.

It’s been exhausting.  And lonely.  Everyone’s always so excited and happy and hopeful when it comes to pregnancy and babies.  No one wants to hear an expectant mom say negative things about her pregnancy.  “You can’t think like that,” they’ll say.  “It’ll be fine this time, I just know it will.”

Well, the reality is, I do think like that.  I can’t help it.  My only experience with pregnancy has scarred me.  And you don’t have a crystal ball so unfortunately your words do nothing to soothe me.  Only time will tell if it really will be fine.  I’m hoping for the best but you better believe I’m bracing for the worst.

You have no idea how exhausting it is to make small talk about pregnancy when inside you are filled with tremendous anxiety about it.  You have no idea how lonely it is to feel like you are the only one who isn’t excited about your pregnancy.  For me, pregnancy does not equate to baby.  Pregnancy equates to a roll of the dice:  healthy baby or tragic loss.  And I STILL don’t know which one I’m going to get this time.  I won’t know until it happens.

It’s terrifying and confusing and bittersweet and everything all at once.

I try not to think too far into the future.  I fell in love with the dream of being a mom to twin boys.  And now that dream haunts me.  But I’m taking small steps.  I’ve allowed myself to start to envision giving birth to this beautiful baby girl.  I started to imagine what she might look like and what her personality will be like.  But I’m still hesitant to plan too far ahead.

As exhausting as it is to stay positive and hopeful, it’s what I’m striving for.  I really, really hope things turn out differently this time.  Each day is one step closer.

IMG_1163

march’s end

I’ve fallen significantly short on my blogging goals this month.  I have had no desire to write, and no inspiration either.  It’s been a long month.  I’ve done absolutely nothing exciting.  I’ve spent my weekends mostly on the couch watching movies or TV by myself or with Eric and it’s been great.  Movies I’ve watched:  American Hustle, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Wolf on Wall Street, Captain Philips, and The Counselor.  TV Series I’ve gotten into:  Black Sails.  Book I’ve read:  The Fault in Our Stars.  I have been a bit of a recluse this month and I’m totally OK with it.  I haven’t really had too much energy for socializing lately so it’s felt great just to chill out when I can.

We’ve been running the CrossFit Open during my Saturday classes at the gym.  It’s required some extra planning, set up, and extremely on-point class management on my end so I, for one, am glad to see it wrap up.  I chose not to compete this year so I’ve been able to view the whole thing a bit more objectively this year than in the past.  I definitely have some mixed emotions about these CrossFit competitions, especially this year.  I’ve always said that competition is not for everyone.  I’m starting to think that it’s probably not for the majority.  I also think in many cases it brings out the worst in people.  Every so often we hear the story of the resiliency of the human spirit witnessed during competition.  But for every one of those stories, there is a whole host of catty shit talk, poor sportsmanship and ill will wished toward other competitors.  It’s kind of gross.  Are my opinions tainted by the fact that this year my training has not been what I wanted it to be?  Probably.  I still love training, still love training other people, still love to see the difference CrossFit and CrossFit Hingham make in people’s lives.  I’m just not 100% into the CrossFit Open.  That’s all.  I’ll end my negative rant there.

On a positive note…since we turned the clocks forward mid month I have been LOVING the later sunsets.  Ahhhh.  That’s seriously how I feel when I get in my car at 5:45 when I leave the gym and it’s still light out.  I know that I can take the dogs out into the yard for a little while and let them run around (or chew on fallen tree branches, which they seem to prefer doing lately).  Now if it would just warm up..

IMG_0801 IMG_0805 IMG_0870

My after school art club wrapped up this week.  The kids were awesome.  It kind of made me wish I was certified to teach elementary art full time. I think watching kids create art is one of the most inspiring things.  You give them an idea and they RUN with it and come up with things that are so outside the box.  It’s refreshing.

IMG_0949 IMG_0890 IMG_0924

And that’s been March in a nutshell!  Here’s hoping April brings more blogging!

grief

“Grief doesn’t change you, Hazel.  It reveals you.”

-Peter Van Houten in The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

0523d3fe7787c618ccf7882b8ef00520

I have discovered a truth about myself.  It may be true for other people, and if it is true for you then I hope my words will resonate with you.  It may not be true for you, and so you may feel my words are a judgement of your behavior and emotions, but they are not.  My words are simply MY truth.

I have come to realize that we are truly the master of our own ship.  As I navigate through this ever changing abyss of grief I can only really rely on one person:  myself.

That is not to say that family, friends, and professionals do not help along the way.  But the only one who can feel, understand, and live this moment is me.  Therefore the only one who can truly heal me IS me.  I can look to others to offer me support and company in trying times.  But in the quiet moments, when it’s just me and my beating heart and my spinning wheels, I have to be able to provide myself with the comforting thoughts.  I have to be okay with the sadness, let it in, feel it, and then let it go, move on.  I have to be the one to decide that this life is one I want to spend LIVING.

My life is not defined by other’s lives nor is it defined by the loss of other’s lives.  My life is defined by MY life.  By how I choose to spend my days.  And I do not want to spend it in a fog of grief.  I do not want to spend it looking back.  And I’ve learned that looking too far ahead, for me, can become futile.  I want to spend this life just simply being content in every moment.  And I don’t need other people, or activities, or events, or even things to achieve that.  I just need belief.  Belief that this life, with its heartaches and all, is one that I want.

I just need to let my heart continue to sing its tune, melancholy though it may be at times.  We all experience things in our lives that we wish could be different.  But I love being alive.  So I want to do more than just exist in my grief.  I choose to keep living.  I choose to let my emotions exist and then I chose to seek out the sunshine.  I chose to keep singing my song.  It is the singing, not the tune, that allows for healing and ultimately brings contentment.

gluten-free favorites

So February totally escaped me and I never posted a recipe round-up for the month.  Truth be told….it’s because I didn’t cook up anything all that interesting.  February was all about the daily grind.  Work and gym during the week.  Food shopping, laundry, and food prep on the weekends.  And by food prep I mean just the staples:  chicken, burgers, potatoes, rice….stuff to keep the fridge stocked for grab and go meals.  Hopefully as spring arrives and the days grow longer I will be inspired to whip up some creative concoctions to share with you.  But until then…

What I want to focus on this month for my food feature is gluten-free treats!  Now let me preface this by saying that gluten-free is not synonymous with healthy.  Many of these gluten-free goodies are things that we have on Saturday afternoon or evening as part of our weekly cheat.  These items are by no means classified as paleo.  But I’ve learned the hard way.  If I’m going to stray from my mostly paleo diet, I regret it less if I go gluten-free.  Gluten kills me.  And there are so many delicious gluten-free goodies, I figured I’d save you the trouble and just tip you off to which one are the best (in my opinion, of course!)

Pizza:  I’ve tried several different brands and my hands down favorite is Against the Grain.  The crust is deliciously doughy for a gluten-free food.  It’s a good sized pizza, perfect for sharing.

Potato Chips:  Terra Chips Sweet Potato Chips.  I eat way too many of these.  It’s the salt.  And the crunch.  I’ve pretty much convinced myself these are healthy for me.  It’s kind of a problem.

Cookies:  Glutino Chocolate Vanilla Creme Sandwich Dream cookies.  Look like Oreos, slightly different taste, but close.  Delicious nonetheless.  Very sweet and light.  We’ve tried lots of gluten-free cookies and these are Eric’s favorites.  But the Enjoy Life Soft Baked Snickerdoodle cookies are a very close runner up!

Ice Cream:  Talenti.  Technically it’s gelato.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s delicious.  It’s crack.  If you don’t have self control, it might be better if you pretend like you never read this because once you try it, you’re done for.  They have the most amazing flavors and the ingredient lists are pretty clean.  (Note:  I didn’t say clean.  I said PRETTY clean.  Translation:  clean enough for me on a cheat day.)

Taco Shells:  Udi’s plain tortillas.  I haven’t found a hard taco shell that’s gluten-free.  But these work fine for soft taco shells.  I love taco salads, with or without the cheese.  But sometimes you just want to be a normal human and have a taco night.  These do the job.  Taste is decent, and the texture and consistency are  right, which can be hard to find when you’re dealing with gluten-free products.

Mac and Cheese:  Annies.  OMG.  If you haven’t tried this yet, you are missing out.  Tastes damn close to Kraft.  We just discovered this recently and now we’re screwed.  I’m glad I only bought one box.  It forced us to share.  I’m pretty sure I could’ve crushed a box myself and Eric probably could’ve eaten two.  It’s that good.  I cooked it with kielbasa (also not paleo) but threw in some baby spinach leaves for good measure :)

IMG_0797

So there you have it!  Some of my favorite go to gluten-free cheats!  Enjoy!

 

a response to hate mail

I am infuriated.  And the worst part is, I don’t know who to be mad at.  So I’m just mad at our shitty, judgmental society that thinks it’s OK to say really hurtful and offensive things.

Let me back up the bus.

I follow a blog written by another CrossFitter.  I really admire her for a number of reasons.   One of them being that she, too, has had some difficulty in the pregnancy department and emailing with her helped me through my own loss.

So I was just getting caught up on all my unread blogs in my blog feed and I read this.  (If you want to understand the full back story, you need to click on all the links in her blog too.)

This piece of anonymous hate mail is EVERYTHING that is wrong with the human race.

blogger-image--733894247

To the Author of the Anonymous Letter Sent to Heather Bergeron:

First of all, if you are going to sling shit at other people, do it in broad daylight.  Anyone can send an anonymous letter.  That’s easy.  You are a coward.

Secondly, exercise doesn’t cause premature babies.  There are lots of risk factors associated with premature labor.  The Mayo Clinic lists the following factors with an increased risk of premature birth:

  • Having a previous premature birth
  • Pregnancy with twins, triplets or other multiples
  • An interval of less than six months between pregnancies
  • Conceiving through in vitro fertilization
  • Problems with the uterus, cervix or placenta
  • Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or using illicit drugs
  • Poor nutrition
  • Some infections, particularly of the amniotic fluid and lower genital tract
  • Some chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes
  • Being underweight or overweight before pregnancy
  • Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one or domestic violence
  • Multiple miscarriages or abortions
  • Physical injury or trauma
  • Unusual shape of the uterus

Interestingly enough, exercise didn’t make the list.  So, Mr. Know it All, get your facts straight.

Third.  No one deserves to have a premature kid.  No one.  As a parent of TWO premature DEAD kids, I find this to be the most offensive thing I have ever read.

Your letter infers that you think you know better than the many doctors and strength and conditioning coaches who are considered to be at the top of their field.  I would love to know what your credentials are and what qualifies you to make this judgement call.  But wait…you didn’t sign your letter.

Your letter infers that people like Heather and Bethany who CrossFit while pregnant are bad people.  So bad, in fact, that you wish premature babies upon them.  Well Mr. Tough Guy, what kind of person are you?  Only a disgusting individual would wish harm or death upon an unborn child.  You are gross, and heartless.

You are the worst kind of person.  You put yourself on a pedestal.  You think you know what is best for everyone else.  You wish harm upon other people as a desperate attempt to express your opinion.  You get pleasure from sending your note because “that’ll show them!”, but you can’t even attach your name to it.  You are uninformed and malicious.

I am the mother of deceased twin boys, Thomas and James, born prematurely.  I exercised during my pregnancy under the direct guidance of my doctors and my coach.  CrossFit did not cause my preterm labor.  My incompetent cervix did.

You are an asshole.  And you have reminded me that the world is full of people like you.  People judging me for exercising during my pregnancy.  People who think they know what caused my twins to die.  People who think they have ALL the answers and who don’t have a CLUE.  

like to think that for every jerk like you, there is someone good out there in the world.  I tell myself this because otherwise it is too depressing to think about the future of humankind.  I sure hope I am right.

Unlike you, I will proudly attach my name to my letter.

-Trish Magee

running in place

IMG_0696It’s school vacation week.  It’s been great to be back to work, but I’m definitely looking forward to a SLOW week.  The time has absolutely flown since I returned to school after the new year.  The routine has been great for me, but I’m in desperate need of some me time.  And by me time, I don’t exactly mean I’ll be watching movies, eating bonbons.  Relaxing isn’t really something I do all that often.  I just want some time to get things done around the house and at the gym.  Super exciting stuff like cleaning closets and the basement.  Nothing makes me happier than checking something off my to do list.  Correction….to do lists.  I have a slight problem!

For the last six weeks I haven’t done much other than work, work out, food shop, do laundry, prep food and sleep.  We have had a few social events on the weekends too.  It’s always great to get out and have a nice dinner somewhere with good company, but it’s crazy how then it puts you so behind in the housework that needs to get done during the weekend.  It’s all good though.  Most of the time I enjoy being the homemaker.

And I also really enjoy being a caregiver.  Since I’ve been back to work I’ve had to make more of an effort to make sure the dogs have gotten plenty of exercise.  I try to spend 10 minutes outside with them every morning before school and every evening when I get home from the gym.  I bundle up and give them some time to run around the yard like the crazy animals that they are.  Lately, though, they’ve been more interested in eating snow than in running around.

The only other things that have been thrown into the mix are some miscellaneous doctor’s and dentist’s appointments and the after school art club that I started.  That’s been a lot of fun for me.  It’s great to just create and not have to worry about somehow connecting it to the curriculum.  So far we’ve had three sessions and the kids seem to enjoy it as well.  It never ceases to amaze me how talented some of these kids are!  Here’s a sampling of our first three weeks of projects.

IMG_0461

Name art

IMG_0582

Color block self-portraits

IMG_0657

Monochromatic geometric shapes

I’ve also taken over some of the clerical duties at the gym.  I’m excited to be able to help Eric out with the business.  I’m glad I have this week off from school so that I can focus on getting some work done there.

Wish I had more exciting news to report, but sometimes life is just a hamster wheel.

february heartache

IMG_0236

The boys’ due date is coming up. February 16th. Of course, in all reality, because they were twins, it would have been unlikely that I would have made it to my actual due date. I probably would have had them around the first of February. In a perfect world. But our world is not perfect. It’s painful. And so my boys won’t have a February birthday. They had an October birthday. And an October death date. So February is just another painful reminder of what could have been.

Two little boys. Healthy and Strong. Blondies. Swaddled in blue. Cradled in their father’s massive arms. Crying. That deep throated baby wail. Stretching, yawning. Cuddling together. Tommy and Jimmy, my two little rascals. Entering the world together and being the best of friends. Driving me crazy, but the apples of my eye.

I wish.

But what could have been, will not be.

There will be no February birthday. There will be no babies in our house this winter. Their cribs, still in their boxes, will remain empty. Their baby registry will remain untouched, a collection of items unpurchased, baby gear unneeded.

Because life is a sick joke sometimes. Full of heartbreak, disappointment, and irony. Full of painful reminders.

There will be no “happy birthday” for this family this February. All there will be is the same “goodnight, my baby loves” that I utter every night to the photo that is burned in my memory for ever.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34 other followers