Instagram Round-up and Pregnancy FAQ

To celebrate 20K Instagram followers, I’m doing an Instagram Recap of all of my new favorite violin items and a Pregnancy FAQ.  Questions about something I don’t cover in this post?  Leave your questions in the comments and I’ll answer them as soon as I can!

Photo Details: 5-String Carbon Composite Electric Acoustic Violin by Glasser Violins, sold here ⎜Onesie
Photo Details: Strings ⎜Fine Tuner 
Photo Details: Rosin  Fuzzy Blanket
Outfit Details: Maternity T-Shirt ⎜ Maternity Jeans ⎜ Flip Flops
Nursery Items: Mirror, Ottoman, Curtains HERE

**Other Instagram favorites from my recent posts:

I LOVE this shoulder rest for my 5 string electric acoustic violin-Arcrest 
This case is by FAR my favorite case EVER-Musafia Case
A lot of people ask me if these pencils are worth the price and the answer is YES-Palomino Blackwing Pencils
I LOVE this rosin for my students and use in my studio.  The plastic case keeps it super safe and less likely to shatter.D’Addario Kaplan Rosin
I’ve gotten really into logging my practice and strategizing in an effective way.  My favorite tool for this is The Practice Journal
My favorite bluetooth pedal for turning pages on my iPad-Airturn


Being pregnant and trying to keep up my career has been extremely challenging!  I never expected my life to change so much BEFORE baby, but this experience has been full of surprises.  If you’re following me on Instagram, then you might already know that I am suffering from extreme Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  I’ve managed to keep teaching full time, but  unfortunately I’ve had to cancel all of my performances until 2018.  There are a LOT of really exciting things happening too, though and I’m so excited to meet our little boy!  Here is are a few of my most Frequently Asked Questions about pregnancy:

How am I feeling:

I have felt great the entire time, honestly.  I hear horror stories about the things women deal with during pregnancy from different sources and I think I’ve been really lucky.  I’m 34, so I didn’t know if it might be more difficult because of my age or exactly what to expect.  I’m 32 weeks pregnant right now and like I said above, I’m dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and I’m also dealing with GERD ( Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).  Luckily, the GERD is mild and I’m able to manage it through diet and elevated positioning while sleeping.  I do not have Gestational Diabetes and I’m very thankful because I am craving sweets!  Also, I have THIS pregnancy pillow and it is SUPER helpful for getting comfy at night.

Baby Luke is measuring a week ahead, so he is already a big baby.  I have not gained as much weight as I’ve expected and as a lot of people like to say, I am “all baby.”  I’m a small framed person (5’2″ and usually around 120 pounds), so having a big belly is really starting to hurt my back.  I don’t exercise much, but I try to walk at least 1.5 miles a few times a week.  Even though I don’t exercise, I’m a very active person.  I’m never sitting down and I am always working on something (nursery, cleaning the garage, all sorts of things).  The back pain is making riding in the car very difficult and it hurts to travel more than a few miles.

I flew to San Antonio a few weeks ago with my mom and it was TORTURE.  The swelling in my feet was really painful and the seats were uncomfortable for me for the long flight.  Luckily, the flights were on time and there were no delays.  The best part? When I got to our resort, we were on the adults-only floor with endless amounts of bottled water and unlimited access to the spa. I definitely indulged in a pre-natal massage.  HEAVEN!

How is baby doing?

Baby Luke is doing great!  He is measuring about 1 week ahead of my due date (November 6, 2017), and the doctors think he’s going to be a pretty large baby.  At this time, I do not have a scheduled delivery date (c-section or induction) and the doctor says they won’t schedule one unless I’m a week behind with delivery.

I have an anterior placenta (on the front of my belly), so I didn’t expect to feel a lot of movement, but I was totally wrong!  I can tell where his feet are and he LOVES kicking me after I have a little caffeine or sugar.  He also kicks when I roll over at night time.  I was really anxious about feeling the baby kick and thought it might be weird, but I am always so excited to feel him move!  My husband thinks I’m silly because I get really concerned if he doesn’t kick me for a few hours.  I have a few more weeks left before I’m supposed to officially count kicks, but I’m basically already doing it because I love feeling it and noticing his movement!

That’s basically all I know about our little boy so far.  We did see in our ultrasound that he has my nose.  THANK GOODNESS because my husband has a very “distinguished” nose and mine is smaller (and cuter).  In one of our ultrasounds, it was super cute because he gave us the thumbs up!  At this point, I won’t have any more ultrasounds unless there are complications.  I love seeing him, so I’m a little disappointed, but I don’t have much more time to wait.

Plans for baby:

The nursery is almost ready and I am scheduled to take my maternity leave in November and December.  It’s a perfect time to take a break from teaching and playing because the teaching schedule is interrupted with Thanksgiving Break and Christmas Holiday.  For playing, I will miss a lot of work in December, but I help a lot of organizations book their orchestras over the holidays and I will continue to do that work since I can do it from home.  I’m really lucky to be able to do most of my work from home and I think I should be able to continue a lot of it once Luke is here. Once maternity leave is over, I’ll resume teaching and playing, and I’ve already worked out my calendar so that I have a little bit lighter performance schedule than usual.

Childcare is an interesting topic, and daycare doesn’t really seem like it will be an option for me because of my unusual hours.  Most daycare facilities operate on a 8am-5pm type schedule and I usually teach most of my students 2pm-7pm.  I’m trying to find some trustworthy homeschool students or retired adults that might be interested in watching Baby Luke at my house while I’m teaching.  If Luke is VERY VERY good and sleeps through my violin playing, I may be able to set him up in the MamaRoo or Rock n Play and just watch him myself while I’m teaching.  My students are all excited to meet him and several of them have said that they want to hold him during their lessons.  As long as he’s well behaved and they wash their hands, I may be able to cut back on childcare a bit.  We’ll see!

For baby gear, I have THIS bassinet for use during the first few months.  We have THIS carseat and all of my friends recommended THIS stroller (it is soooooo nice and we can’t wait to use it!!). I will breastfeed if it works out (if I produce enough milk and he latches successfully etc), and I plan to pump (I got THIS one) so that a sitter or my husband can help me with feedings after the maternity leave is over. I mentioned the MamaRoo earlier and we’re really excited to try it.  I love the idea of being able to control it via Bluetooth from my phone.  All of our friends told us to buy THIS white noise machine (it also has an app!) and THESE swaddles.  Our nursery furniture is THIS set from Pottery Barn Kids in Grey.  I got the low-profile crib because I’m petite and I wanted to make sure I could reach in it easily.  I was worried it would look to small, but it is PERFECT….I’m so glad we chose it instead of the full sized one.  Grey is my favorite color because it’s so calming, so I’m really glad it’s in style right now! I wasn’t going to spend money on a diaper bag, but I have a bag addiction and I just couldn’t help myself.  I am really excited to use THIS diaper bag because it’s a backpack AND messenger bag, and it’s washable and has a TON of pockets (I also got THIS one for overnight trips to Grandma’s house)….and I bought THIS one for my husband for this past Father’s Day.

Why do I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

A lot of people, including my mom, are having trouble understanding why I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome right now.  I didn’t know this at first, but apparently up to 20% of women develop CTS during pregnancy.  Because of the additional fluids I’m retaining, there is more pressure on my carpal tunnel and I’m experiencing symptoms I’ve never had before.  I’ve had mild tendonitis during college, but CTS is totally new.  A lot of people have asked me if I should cut back on sodium but my doctors have said that a low sodium diet is not recommended during pregnancy and that my retention of fluids is just part of a typical pregnancy.

I got really nervous when I developed my first CTS symptoms.  I didn’t know it could happen and I didn’t realize it was pregnancy related.  I sat Concertmaster for  Mendelssohn’s Elijah back in May and at first I attributed my growing discomfort to overexertion from those performances.  I went to my doctor and he wasn’t surprised when I described what was happening, and after a little more research I figured out it had nothing to do with my career.  I can’t feel anything in the fingers in my right hand, and somedays it is the same in my left hand.  I have difficulty using my bow arm and sounding the way I want to, and typing/writing is VERY painful.  Writing my thank you cards has been tricky, and this is why I haven’t been able to update my blog very often.  There is not much I can do to alleviate the pain until after Baby Luke arrives.  Sleeping in wrist braces helps a little, Tylenol (the only pain killer I can take right now) doesn’t help at all, and Physical Therapy and massage have not been helpful. The only thing that brings me comfort is rest, so I’ve tried to cut back on playing as much as possible.

My doctor has talked to me about the possibility of having surgery if the CTS pain does not go away as expected after delivery.  At first I was really anxious about it, but a wonderfully talented musician friend of mine has had the surgery and said it wasn’t as big a deal as he expected.  He said he played a major recital 2 weeks after having the surgery and it was 100% worth it to have the surgery.  I don’t want to have the surgery if I can help it, but I’m just happy to have some options if the pain remains after delivery.

This is the LONGEST and most personal post I’ve ever written, and I could go on about Baby Luke ALL DAY but the CTS makes typing painful and you’re probably getting tired of hearing about all this non-musical stuff.  I just figured out how to add links to my Instagram stories, so I’ll try to post links about my favorite violin gear there as much as possible.  I have several product reviews to share that I’ve been working on, and I’ve recently received a few new products that I just can’t wait to share.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions and I’ll try to answer them right away and/or update the post with the answers. XOXO

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