Saturday, August 27, 2011

How I got pregnant

If you googled your way over here in the hopes of reading about heaving bosoms and throbbing members and glistening whatever... you're in for massive dissapointment. How did I get pregnant? In the usual way. Which might not sound like it's worth writing about, particularly in the absence of any entertaining details. What makes it worth writing about (I think) is that last time I did not get pregnant in the usual way. Last time, after approximately 18 months of failed attempts, we sought help from medical technology. We were never diagnosed with anything particular but were told that after 18 months of no success, our chances of conceiving on our own were less than 1%. We did a few of rounds of assisted reproduction and on the third attempt it took.

This time, for various reasons, we did not want to go that route. With "less than 1%" echoing in my head, I figured the chances of a sibling for la cocotte were slimmer than an ultramarathon runner. And for 10 months... nothing. Less than 1 % seemed about right. Meanwhile I continued my habitual reading of infertility blogs and came across one women`s story of conception. No diagnosis but no success in reproducing until... she came across a trick. Her writing came across as quite embarassed to have even tried it and definitely she did not attribute her success to this particular trick however she did say that for two years she had no success and the month she tried this trick it worked. Possibly coincidence. Probably coincidence. But she was putting it out there just in case it could help others.

So, on my 11th try, I used her trick. And I`m pregnant. Possible coincidence. Probable coincidence. But I wasn`t pregnant and, well, now I am. And I too am a little bit embarassed and sheepish to advocate this as a "sure fire fertility booster". I really do think it was dumb coincidence BUT if you send me $19.95 in a self addressed envelope, I will mail you back.... ok, totally kidding. Talk about bad karma. Here is the dumb secret that probably did NOT do the trick but now is reponsible for two "documented" pregnancies after months of lack of success... I am still embarassed to actually type this but here goes. Bicycle legs after sex. Legs in the air, supporting the hips from underneath the hipbones so that most of your weight is on your shoulder blades and upper back and bicycle your legs for a few minutes.

You read it on the internet. It MUST be true.

Friday, August 26, 2011

THE question

I haven't written about's for awhile. It didn't take. I got derailed by vacation - who wants to be doing we.i.ght wa.tcher's when backpacking carrying 30 lbs at 8000 feet while climbing another 1000 feet? Who NEEDS to be doing we.i.ght wa.tcher's under those conditions??? Then when we got home, I was side tracked by other things. Despite the fact that I am running, it is less than normal because I am slowly coming back from my foot injury and cycling is just not the same. Not surprisingly lately my little belly has sprouted back into place.

The other day I got asked THE question for the first time in my life. One of the other daycare mom's looked VERY pointedly at my midsection and asked: "Are you expecting?". I was stunned. No one is supposed to ask that question... EVER... Doesn't she know the rule? UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY SEE THE HEAD EMERGING FROM BETWEEN HER LEGS - Don't ask a woman if she's pregnant!! ARE YOU CRAZY??? I sat there in stunned silence while she backtracked as much as possible - "oh, well, it's because you're normally thin and..."

But it's okay. It's all okay. One, because this woman is really goodness personified without a mean bone or bad intention in her body. Two, because, I am pregnant. 13 weeks. 13 weeks of secrecy. But I figured if an acquaintance was asking me then it was probably time to come out of the closet.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Scenes from a backpacking/camping vacation with a toddler

Death Valley. July. 118 deg F. By chance we drove through there 2 or 3 days after the Badwater Ultramarathoners passed though - race goes from Badwater -282 feet BELOW sea level (lowest point in North America) to Mount Whitney summit 14,497 feet (highest point in the lower 48 states). 135 miles with total elevation gain of 19,000 feet in (see above) temperatures that can exceed 118 deg F. I felt over exerted just walking 100 m out of the car to take this picture!
At the Cottonwood Lakes trailhead at the start of our first backpacking adventure. La cocotte lasted about 10 minutes in the backpack and thereafter spent about 90% of the time on the trail in my arms.
Streamside at our campsite. La cocotte has apparently no nerve endings in her feet. The water could not have been more than about 4 deg C tunneling as it was through a nearby snow pack.

Nestled under our ultralight tarp (no tent to save weight!) amidst our messy gear.
View from campsite - well worth carrying toddler and gear 5 miles in and 2000 feet up.
Noe in Yosemite National Park - Yosemite falls (?) I think... 
Campsite at Cathedral Lakes right before la cocotte strongly indicated her preference for being NOT there and we packed up and raced the waning daylight 5 miles back to the car (yup, we carried 40 pounds of gear for essentially a day hike)

Car camping at Tuolumne Meadows (~8500 feet which explains the down jacket - it's cold at 8500 feet, even in July)
If you go to Yosemite it is essentially mandatory to photograph Half Dome from Olmstead Point. 

Spent the last night in Las Vegas before catching out flight out - always a nice jolt to the nervous system to go from the beauty of the Sierra Nevada, to the starkness of Death Valley to Las Vegas - the epitomy of everything wrong in the North American culture of excess (um, let's start with the concept of building a city where there is NO WATER!)

Just to end on a slightly more positive and instructive note - don't forget to brush kids!
If you're not sure how, ask your local toddler to help!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bike revisited

It happened! I exhausted myself on the bike this morning. It... was... amazing! I figured out a huge part of the reason I couldn't get my heart rate up on previous work-outs. It's all about the surface. Montreal has a dearth of smooth, bicycle friendly surfaces, which is strange because we have a huge network on bike paths. But even on the bike paths there are inevitably huge cracks and bumps and construction zones and I was forever braking, swerving or standing on the pedals and coasting to avoid punishing me lady bits on a huge pothole. This morning I headed out to Montreal's Formula 1/Nascar racing track, the Gilles Villeneuve Circut,  which is doubles as a training ground for cyclists and roller bladers on Ile Notre Dame in the Saint Laurent River off the island of Montreal. Heaven! Bliss! Smooth as a single malt scotch. 4.38 km of sheer cardio heaven. No bumps, no cracks, no fear for the lady bits.

As I pumped away, turning over as fast as possible I had this strange sensation, like something was wrong with me - I just didn't feel like I normally do on the bike, I felt wonky and uncoordinated and then it hit me - it was the feeling of having gone out too fast and not been able to sustain the pace and slowly bonking. I was exhausting myself ON THE BIKE! Sweating like a pig, heart rate in the high 150s, work-out induced nausea, shaky tired legs, taste of exertion in my mouth, HEAVEN! I managed 5 laps - 9:03, 8:44, 9:10, 8:26, 8:43. Averaged JUST shy of 30 km/hour (29.8 km/hour). Which I have to admit the quantitative beast in me was disappointed in, with all the exertion and effort I thought/hoped maybe I was averaging maybe 32/33 kph but WHATEVER I EXHAUSTED myself on the bike. Yippee!

The track I was riding on is also the site of more races I have run than I can even clearly remember and PiccolaPineCone-on-the-bike also entertained herself by chasing down and squashing the myriad of ghosts of running PPC. Speed is fun. Out of shape PPC on the bike still destroys running PPC. The other wonderful thing about cycling, which I`ve mentioned before, is the sheer range of access it provides to strangely beautiful places I don`t otherwise often get to. Not mountains in California beautiful but urban beautiful and all to myself at 5.30-7.00 am, definitely a unique experience:

Montreal from Ile Jean Drapeau (island next to the island with the track)
Montreal skyline from Ile Notre Dame

Site of expo `67 against Montreal skyline (obviously not taken this morning as indeed none of these were, nor were they taken by me!)
Green scene on Ile Jean Drapeau