{December Fitness Challenge #heseesyouwhenyourerunning}


Because he sees you when your running and knows when you lift weights!  I’m talking about Santa of course.

At five weeks post-partum I thought I’d be so much further along in my journey back to fit.  Last post-pregnancy I’d walked 100 miles with my son and had ran 2-3 miles at a time on a few occasions at this point.  Each pregnancy has it’s own healing timeline, but I’m still bummed.

Other than what feels like a longer recovery, my biggest challenges have been having two little people to care for and one of them always needing something, cold winter temps making it hard to get the smallest one out on walks as of late (Getting out isn’t hard, it’s the what if she wakes up and needs to eat or wants to be held and it’s so cold. She is kind of unpredictable and doesn’t love her car seat.) and feeling frustrated with not running more because my body isn’t completely ready yet.  Getting motivated to run is much easier for me than walking since running is what I love.  Trying to make myself be excited to walk inside on a treadmill…even harder for me.  

Anyway enough with the “reasons.”  I really want to have a great fitness month in December and I’m sure some of you would too.  With holiday treats and events there is even more reason to stay active.   Plus I love working out to some rockin’ holiday tunes and getting in a run (or walk) that takes me past holidays lights.

So here is my challenge!  I’m challenging myself (and you) to get in 30 minutes of physical activity everyday through New Years Day.  What counts?  Anything that is physical activity.  I will be walking, hopefully running, 21 Day Fixing, doing post-partum workouts, and hopefully attending a class or two.  There are no mileage requirements, paces to reach, weight limits to break, just doing an active activity you like.  Why wait until the New Year to get in shape and feel good about yourself?  

Of course accountability is a must.  I want to do this, but it’s not enough just to want it.  I’ll be posting a photo a day on Instagram (sneaksandstilettos) to hold myself accountable.  Join me if you need some accountability.  I will be using the hashtag #heseesyouwhenyourerunning since that is my true love and my ultimate goal to reach.  I know on New Year’s Day I won’t regret my challenge and it is a great way to kick off any 2017 fitness goals you might have.  Let’s hashtag away!

Sarah

{Aria’s Birth Story}


Almost four weeks old and I am finally getting to share Aria’s fast and furious birth story. I love reading other people’s birth stories because there is something so profound about the experience of birth that it should be shared.  A day your life is forever changed should be documented in detail to remember forever.  I also love that the experience of a child arriving, no matter how that happens, is so unique.

Lots of things about Aria’s pregnancy were completely different than her big brother.  I should have known her delivery would be different in a big way, too.  I was hoping for a faster delivery with it being my second pregnancy, but I never expected things to go the way they did.

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When 40 weeks came and went I wasn’t totally surprised.  I went into labor on my due date with Pierce, but he didn’t arrive until the very end of the following day.  I had been having quite a few contractions in the couple of weeks leading up to her arrival, and I hoped (prayed) they were progress making contractions since they were painful and not like the Braxton Hicks I’d been having since 28 weeks off and on.  I will never know for sure since I always decline being checked at appointments, but I will assume they were as her delivery was quick.

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I reread the above quote over and over in the week of her delivery.  It really helped me calm down at times.  By Sunday, October 23rd I was getting a little anxious.  I was three days past my due date and she was sitting so low, I seriously began to wonder how I would physically get through the next day at work.  She had to be arriving soon.  I then realized she hadn’t arrived yet because I hadn’t made up her birth announcement with her date of arrival and time. I did this with Pierce the week before he was due and I correctly guessed his arrival date, but was way off on his arrival time.  I made up a preview of her announcement on tinyprints.com and selected October 23rd as her birthday and 10:23 p.m. as her arrival time.  This had to put me in labor I thought.

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Despite being very uncomfortable  with tons of pressure on my pelvis,  I managed a two mile walk with the family late in the afternoon.  After arriving home I sent the husband to get a few necessities for the week while I got dinner ready and started feeding Pierce.  It was about 5:15.

After Ryan had been gone for a bit I had a contraction that felt like the real deal, but I didn’t think much of it.  A few minutes later I had another.  Then a few minutes later another.  I still didn’t even get excited or text Ryan.  I had this happen a few times before. On a couple of nights the week before I’d had contractions for an hour or two and then they stopped.  I didn’t want to cause a false alarm or incite unnecessary excitement in anyone.

As I was feeding P I noticed these seemed to be a bit more painful and kind of regular.  I decided to start tracking them with my Contraction app.  It still had all my contractions I charted from Pierce’s labor.  I looked it over and quickly prayed my next labor wasn’t like his with only back labor before deleting the information and starting fresh.  My first contraction entered in the app was at 5:54 p.m.

When Ryan got home at 6:15, I was feeling more sure that this was the real deal.  Each contraction was painful and I’d had seven contractions since I had started keeping track of them in the contraction app.  Most contractions were 35-45 seconds long and they were coming every 2-6 minutes.  I would highly recommend this app.  When you are actually in labor it is impossible to keep track of how long they are lasting, the frequency with which they are occurring and their intensity with accuracy.  This helps do all that for you.

Since we live close to the hospital we were again told to follow the 3-1-1 policy.  This means wait to head to the hospital until contractions are three minutes apart and lasting for one minute at a time for an hour.  I wanted to labor at home as long as possible.  Last time my contractions were so irregular and painful right away I was really confused about when to go in.  Back labor will do that.  They were pretty painful right away this time, too, but completely different.

This time my contractions were like what people had always described them as.  I had a couple of mottos picked out to repeat to myself in my head when breathing through a contraction.  I had my labor playlist ready.  I made a playlist with Pierce that I never used during labor. This time I relied on it early on.  It helped me move through and zone out during a contraction and focus on my mantra.  I was really hoping for a water birth.  I was okay with an epidural if I exhausted all other options, but wanted to make sure I really gave it my everything first.

By 6:45 p.m. my contractions were coming every two-three minutes, but were still lasting about 45-50 seconds so I didn’t think it was time to head to the hospital.  I wanted to wait until they were lasting a bit longer.  By this time I had locked myself in the office and my husband was with Pierce.  His parents had come over to spend the night and care for Pierce as this was the real deal.  Oddly enough they were already in town eating dinner and Ryan’s mom had her packed bag in the car.  It’s like they knew it was going to happen.  I listened to my playlist and moved and breathed through the contractions.

At 7:45 things were much the same.  I had told Ryan what to pack in the car between contractions.  I read my son a bed time story between contractions and gave him a hug and a kiss and sang him my bedtime song for him in between contractions.  I thought about how the next time I saw him I would probably be holding his sister in my arms.  It was the moment I had feared and looked forward to for a while.  I was expecting this to be a hard moment for me, emotionally accepting he wouldn’t be my only baby anymore, but in reality I was in too much pain and the contractions were too close together for me to get too emotional or sentimental.

Labor was demanding more of my focus so after putting my son to bed I headed to his sister’s room.  For some reason I like to labor in their nursery’s imagining them and focusing on what labor is all about-meeting your baby.  I labored in different positions.  I used my yoga ball.  I asked my husband to join me in her room and take over with the contraction app.  Interestingly I did not want his help during this labor at all.  I did not want to be touched or bothered.  I just wanted to be left alone to do what my body was meant to do.  I began repeating my labor mantras over and over in my head during every contraction.

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At 8:45 p.m. the contractions were coming every two to three minutes, but they were only about 45 seconds long.  My husband wanted to go to the hospital.  I did not.  According to my Contraction app, my contractions then began to pick up in frequency which coincided with my decision to take a hot shower.

In hindsight my husband might have been thinking with a more clear and level head at the time.  I had no concept of the time I had been in the shower.  I did not have my husband chart my contractions.  He suggested going to the hospital a couple of times while I was in the shower, but I really was so focused on my mantra and getting through each contraction I admit I wasn’t really listening.  That and I was moaning a lot.

Later I would find out I was in the shower for 26 minutes because when I got out the husband started using the contraction app again.  My contractions were now happening every minute and a half to two minutes and were lasting 48 seconds to a minute and a half. About ten minutes later I told my husband I think it was time to go to the hospital.  A few contractions later and my water broke soaking my pants.  The husband was (jokingly) worried about the newish carpet.  It did not get on the carpet nor did I care at that point.  I didn’t find humor in his joking at the time.

As soon as my water broke I said we need to go to the hospital…NOW.  I felt her move down even lower and my contractions were coming every minute it seemed.  My husband helped me out of my wet pants and I sent him for dry pants.  His mom asked if my water broke and she said he needed to take me to the hospital right away.  He said he was working on it, but I hadn’t been so cooperative leading up to my water breaking.  She looked pretty concerned.  I knew we needed to go so I walked through the house pantsless to meet my husband by the door not caring where my mother-in-law was. He helped me into my pants and then we immediately went to the car.

I rode in the passenger seat on my knees facing the backseat trying not to push, but my body wanted to so much.  Upon arriving to the hospital at 10:00 p.m., I had five or six contractions on the walk to labor and delivery. They tried to get me to sit in a wheelchair, which I said was not going to happen.  After getting to the delivery room they checked me and said I was 4 centimeters.  I said there was no way and if that was the case I want an epidural now.  I was having such strong urges to push, almost like my body was totally in control.  I had to lay in the bed while they tried to get baby’s heart on the monitor.  They said I had to do this for 20 minutes before an epidural or a water birth could happen.

A nurse kept telling me not to push to breathe.  I was trying so hard not to, but I couldn’t do much about my body doing it on its own.  They were struggling to get a heart rate reading so I had to move to one side and then the other.  Being asked to lay in that bed was like death. I was in so much pain and just wanted to get out of the damn bed.  I cannot stand laboring in bed.  Not being able to move through the contractions completely destroyed my focus.  My requests were not met and I do understand why, but at the time…grrrr!  The doctor then arrived and she inserted a heart rate monitor on the baby’s head and said I was 8 cm.  The doctor said my contractions were very strong and there would not be time for an epidural or to get the water birth tub ready. My baby would be here soon.  Very soon.

A few minutes later I was 10 cm and ready to push.  A few minutes later yet, baby girl was born. There was significant yelling during these last minutes.  I had trouble maintaining control and felt like I never got my calm focus back that I’d had all night prior to having to sit fairly still in bed.  I felt almost in shock about how fast things were going.  When her shoulders got stuck on my pelvis and they said her cord was wrapped around her neck panic set in. The husband was literally speechless during this time and said nothing…as in not a damn word.  I don’t even really remember him being there.  Things were so intense I literally had no options but to yell and just do it.  The silver lining-it was fast!
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At 10:36 p.m., 36 minutes after getting to the hospital, Aria Emerson was born.  Since she was blue and not crying she was immediately taken away.  That part was so scary.  Not knowing what was going on or if she was ok was the hardest thing.  After getting lots of mucus sucked out, being given oxygen and recovering for a bit, she was given to me for skin to skin and breastfeeding to which she immediately latched on.  Despite a crazy arrival to the hospital, a cord being wrapped around her neck and shoulder dystocia (her shoulders were stuck on my pelvis so the doctor had to help her out), she arrived quickly and healthy without complications to her or I.

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Less than an hour after my water broke at home Aria was here.  While they were working on making sure she was ok, I wavered between worry and shock as to what just happened. I had just had a baby a half hour after getting to the hospital without any medication.  The husband seemed equally shocked.  The important thing was she was here and healthy.

Once she was in my arms I felt so much better.  I was so excited to see her eagerly nursing, to see her little chest rise with each precious breath she took and to see her tiny little feet (they really are tiny).

I took in her head full of dark hair and her long fingernails on her delicate fingers.  She seemed so much bigger than her brother had.  She really was, too, weighing in at 8 pounds, 5 ounces and measuring 19.75 inches long.  Big brother had been 6 pounds, 14 ounces and a quarter inch shorter.  It felt so familiar to hold a newborn and yet so new.

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With Pierce I felt an attachment early on, but also so much fear of the unknown and so much uncertainty about becoming a mom.  With Aria I also felt an attachment, but a different fear of what life as a family of four would be like.  I was having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that she was here.  It seemed like it was just March and we were finding out that we were for sure pregnant after several false negative tests the month before.  Chasing after her big brother made this pregnancy go so much faster than the first, in some ways I felt as if I never fully processed that I was pregnant.

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I felt love for her on the day I met her, but honestly my love has just grown and grown in my few weeks at home with her.  That is part of the reason for the delay on this post.  I haven’t wanted to put her down or stop snuggling her to write a post.  I feel as if I fall more in love with her each day.  My sweet Aria I love you so much!  The other part of the delay is life is crazy when you have two children 18 months apart.  There isn’t really time for yourself.  Someone almost always needs you.

We are adjusting to life as a family of four.  Big brother is at daycare during the day for at least the first six weeks, so I have plenty of time to bond with Aria.  This allows me to enjoy time with her and not have to also be chasing an active and curious 18 month old around constantly.

It is also great practice at getting three people ready in the morning as I take Pierce to daycare each morning and pick him up in the afternoon.  Lets just say it takes FOREVER to get two little people and a tired mommy ready and out the door in the morning.  Some mornings go smoothly and some morning we have all cried at some point before we leave, but we’ve made it every day.  Pierce being at daycare where he gets the interaction and stimulation he needs also gives me some down time and lets me enjoy my little people so much more in the scheme of things.

I’m anxious to see who Aria grows up to be, but also want her to be little forever.  Seeing Pierce after having her made him seem SO grown up.  I know how fast this stage goes as I just blinked and Pierce is toddler.  So far she is a great baby with a fussy time or two each day (although this has been increasing in length as of late and a lot this week).

Pierce is showing an overwhelming interest in her constantly wanting to touch her face and head. He is working on being gentle and loves to help change her diaper and hold his sister.  Aria or baby is often the first thing he says when he wakes up in the morning and one of the last things he says before bedtime at night.  I hope so much that they have an amazing and close sibling bond.  It is also so true when they say that you can love more than one child THAT much.  I miss Pierce on a daily basis when he is at daycare or I have to miss a bedtime story, but I also know that Aria won’t always need me so much.

I’ve been feeling awesome, too.  I strongly believe having a healthy, active pregnancy is a huge part of why the actual delivery went so well, pushing lasted a few minutes and recovery has been a breeze.  For now I’m easing back into workouts, getting used to not sleeping again, and enjoying every single new baby moment with a few holiday tunes and/or movies in the background.  I will continue to share my post-partum fitness journey along with family details here on the blog.  I still have no idea how I will juggle family and fitness exactly, but I do know it will be filled with ups and downs and will doubtfully be boring.

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Sarah

 

{Bumpdate} 40 Weeks

By now most of you know baby girl has arrived, but I did start this post before she arrived so I’m sharing it now.  Her birth story is coming soon.

Baby Girl,

You definitely have mama wondering when you will arrive.  I have been having quite a few contractions off and on over the past two weeks.  On two occasions I had contractions that were quite regular in timing and more painful than Braxton Hicks for over an hour or two and I thought, THIS IS IT!  Except it wasn’t.  I no longer think of contractions as meaning anything…until they do.  If I start having contractions, I just continue on with my regular day and don’t let myself get too excited. I know you will arrive when it is the right time for you.  Good things come to those who wait.  

These extra days of anticipation have you daddy going crazy, too.  He may be worse than me.  He is constantly asking how I am, if I feel anything, if anything is going on.  I actually had to ask him to stop asking.  I couldn’t handle the anticipation myself and his asking all the time.  He did defend himself by saying that he has to ask so much because he knows I wouldn’t tell him anything until I’m sure it is the real deal as not to get him too excited for a false alarm.  He’s right, but still.

We’ve been spending the extra time finishing up anything we can and trying to shower your brother with attention as we know soon we will have two children to love and give our attention to.  

When you’re ready baby girl, we are too.

Love,

Mom

Feeling:  Very uncomfortable and caught up in the magical excitement of seriously…ANY DAY NOW could be it!

There is something so magical and nerve-wracking about going past your due date. You know meeting your baby is just days (or maybe hours) away, but you are so anxious for their arrival it is hard to concentrate on anything else.  There is also something so annoying about going past your due date with people constantly checking in on you because they care, feeling uncomfortable and starting to feel like you might actually be pregnant FOREVER.  I know I won’t, but still.


I’m a firm believer in letting baby come when they are ready and not taking measures to rush their arrival unless truly medically necessary.  I deny opportunities to be checked at appointments as it really means nothing, and I do not want to be induced unless medically necessary.  Talks of induction in early November if nothing happens though feels like 8 million years from now.  I can’t imagine being pregnant for 42 weeks.

Cravings: Some days nothing.  Other days sweet stuff.  Pumpkin spice lattes.

Weight Gain: At my 40 week appointment I had gained 25 pounds.

Symptoms:  Baby girl is sitting so low.  Our midwife even commented how very low you are.  Uncomfortably, have-to-pee-all-the-time, it-hurts-when-I-walk low.  I feel like it can’t be long until your arrival as some other signs of your arrival have started to happen, but I will spare the details.

Workouts/Running:  Just walking feels like an effort.  I’m still trying to get out for a few walks a week, but you are making things quite uncomfortable lately.  

Week 38-Walking, prenatal sculpt DVD and yoga DVD.  I shared the details of these DVD’s in my previous bumpdate post.

Week 39-I managed a couple short walks this week.  We also went for a hike at a nearby state park.

Week 40-Running errands feels like a workout.  Walked two miles on the afternoon before baby girl would be born.

Looking Forward To:  Holding you in my arms.  Soon baby girl.  Soon.

Sarah

 

{Post-Partum Fitness Plans for Baby #2}

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Today being my due date with baby number two has me thinking about returning to regular running and losing those extra pounds.  Of course baby snuggles and soaking up the moments is most important, but this post isn’t about that.

Last time around losing the weight was important to me for several reasons.  Those reasons remain the same this time around.  While I do believe there are far more important things in life than worrying about weight and working out post-baby, the reality is sometimes these small things are the big things.

For obvious reasons, I can’t afford to buy a new wardrobe.  I like having options to wear and it feels good to put on those skinny jeans again and have them actually fit.   This is only part of the reason though.  If I’m being honest, I’m just much happier and more confident when I like the way I look.  Feeling like yourself gives you a confidence and positivity to your life and attitude that is hard to get from another source.

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Turkey Trot with my little guy at 7 months old.

Beyond fitting into my old clothes, returning to working out is essential to my well-being and mental health.  I become very anxious and irrational if I go very long without moving my body.  For the sake of my family and those around me, everyone involved wants me to exercise as soon as possible.  Being outdoors and running through all four seasons does something for my soul and peace of mind that I’ve never found anywhere else.  The satisfaction and sense of accomplishment I get from my running is unique and necessary for me to feel like a good version of myself.

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Finally, since becoming a mom I struggle to find or make time for myself.  As a mom someone always needs you.  Something always needs to be done.  Mom guilt is overwhelming.  I have extreme mom guilt if I ever leave my son even if it is to get groceries or run an errand that is benefitting him or our family.  I need to make time for myself a priority here or there for my own sanity and to be sure I’m not dividing my attention when I’m with him (and soon baby girl, too).  Exercise gives me that break and time to myself.

As for when my next big race is exactly, I’ve decided to leave that a bit unknown or undecided. However unlike me as this sounds, I’ve got some ideas about when and where I might like to cross off my next state, but I learned the hard way last time around that if there is one guarantee post-baby it is that your best intentions and plans can go out the window in a hurry.

Balancing motherhood with work responsibilities and training was so, so much more complex and challenging than I could have anticipated.  Rather than shell out hundreds of dollars in advance to up the ante so-to-speak in helping me remain committed to my goal, I’ve decided to save some cash up front and be real.  This might mean paying a higher registration price to wait a bit longer to register for a race to be sure I can actually commit to the race and travel.  Despite not committing financially to any races as of yet, that doesn’t mean I don’t have post-baby workout /fitness plans.  I do!   If that sort of thing interests you, keep reading.  If not, maybe skip this post.

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Running with baby #1!

During my last pregnancy I had no real post-baby workout plans established.  I had no idea how weak my abs and pelvic muscles would be.  Seriously no idea.  I had done no kegels or pelvic work during my pregnancy, but I thought I had maintained a moderately active lifestyle running a few days a week until 27 weeks and then walking and hiking up to my due date.  When I look back at my workouts though, I really didn’t maintain my fitness like I had planned or hoped to.  Life got busy, and I made some excuses, too.

Post-partum after baby #1 I felt amazing.  I couldn’t believe that I had just had a baby and felt so good.  I had felt worse after some of the marathons I’d ran.  Walking was a breeze.   The first couple of runs felt great.  Once the initial excitement of I’m-running-and-I-haven’t-done-this-in-months wore off though, I realized how weak I was and what a work in progress I was.  My determination was there, but my abs just were not.  I remember sitting in my living room, laying flat on my back (that felt weird), and trying to do something as simple as lift my feet and legs off the floor a few inches.  I could not do this.  No matter how hard I tried, it was just not possible.

My actual running felt great aside from this lower ab and pelvic issue/pain I had after most runs.  I was able to return to running pretty quick, but I was constantly worried about doing more damage than good.  You almost can’t stop a runner though.

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I spent a lot of time reading and researching about how to correct mild abductus rectis and regain ab and pelvic floor strength.  I was so frustrated and felt confused as to why no one told me about this.  Why are stabilizing and strengthening exercises not taught to post-partum moms right away?  Why are we not told to avoid certain ab exercises like crunches that can make it worse?  I spent so much time pre-labor and delivery worrying and researching how to cope with labor pains and the end status of my lady parts I hadn’t even known or thought to consider this.  What’s even more is I can’t imagine that many women actually walk away from delivery with strong abs and pelvic muscles.  All women could benefit from this being a part of post-natal care.

Some of the resources I used the last time are linked below.  Of course, I’m not a doctor so listen to your own body and talk to yours before trying any of these!  I will definitely be using these again this time around.  I also already asked my midwife about post-partum PT.  She said she will make the referral and that they refer people all of the time.  After having two children 18 months apart I know that my pelvic floor will be able to use some extra attention, and I want to make sure I’m prepared.

Six Exercises to Rebuild Your Core After Pregnancy

Pelvic Floor Safe Exercise App

You Don’t Know Squat

5 Alternatives to Kegel Exercises

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I also plan to do as much walking as I can immediately post-baby, but I know this will be really hard this time around since I live in Wisconsin and baby is due in October. I doubt we will be walking 100 miles together by the time she is five weeks old like I did with her big brother, but I guess I can hope for a warm, late fall.  I do have a treadmill that I didn’t have with big brother, so hopefully she can sleep next to me while I get some walk time in and enjoy some intelligent TV or Hallmark Christmas movies.  I’m such a sucker for these feel good movies.  Add in post-baby hormones and I will probably be a mess.

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After having my son, 21 Day Fix really helped me make healthy food choices and get in a great workout in 3o minutes last time around.  I plan to use this again after baby #2.  Going to yoga and barre classes once a week also helped me get out of the house and get stronger, too.  I’d love to include this in my post-partum return plan, but the reality is with my husband working full time (since it won’t be summer like last time) this may be difficult to impossible.

I also hope this time of year (late fall/winter) gives me a chance to put less pressure on myself to run long runs right away and really take the time to do the pelvic floor work that needs to be done.  I’d like to complete more strength training too, so I can build a strong foundation to really return to running in the spring with longer runs.  The pressure we put on ourselves though is hard to stop.

 After having my son, I also spent a lot of (unnecessary) time obsessing about how I would lose the weight.  Not so much during the first three months.  I was totally devoted to my little man and caught up in those new mom emotions and challenges.  After three months though I had expected breastfeeding and the running and walking I was doing to have taken care of those extra pounds.  I lost 22 pounds that first month and thought I was going to have no problem losing the rest.

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The reality was I had a long way to go.  The worst part was I was eating right (dairy-free for baby meant a pretty clean diet) and exercising along with breastfeeding, and I just was not seeing the results I’d expected.  These three things were I’m sure helpful in maintaining a steady weight loss, but the one thing that seemed to be required for my body to lose the weight was the one thing I didn’t have patience for-TIME!

Knowing all of these things from before will, I hope, better prepare me for the after the second time around and make other frustrated mommies realize they are not alone.  I wouldn’t say the after was a hard transition the first time, but I was caught off guard by the extent of my weakness and the time it took to lose the weight. Often we hear that breastfeeding is the key.  The reality is that it may not be the only thing necessary.

Every person is unique.  Everyone’s journey their own.  No comparison needed; just support and knowing that for most people a combination of healthy eating, exercise and time is what is needed to lose baby weight.  No luck.  No fancy gimmicks.  No easy tricks. Sorry!  Just hard work, commitment, determination and, again, TIME!

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Six months post-baby I was back at my pre-baby weight.  Nine months after I was down an extra couple of pounds and would very soon be pregnant again.

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After running a half marathon at 16 weeks.

This pregnancy I worked out a lot more as I really wanted a more fit pregnancy than the first time around.  I also ate better in part to limit the pounds I gained, but also largely due to my gestational diabetes diagnosis.  I’m very curious how running more and until 35 weeks will play into my overall fitness and return to running.  I know running more and longer into this pregnancy has played a big part in me gaining about ten pounds less this time around.  At my recent 39 week appointment I had gained 26 pounds.  I’m sure I have a bit to gain yet, but don’t think it’s possible to gain 11 pounds before she gets here.  Let’s hope not!


It should be added that this plan is all pending a delivery similar to the last one. I am very aware that if I have a more difficult delivery or a c-section for some reason that my plans will have to be adjusted.  A combination of eating healthy, exercising and taking care of myself will make my return to the fitness I love possible and the baby weight come off with time.  I hated hearing this last time around, but it really seemed to be true for me.

My biggest tip to new mama’s-to-be when it comes to returning to working out is to have a plan that includes a healthy diet and exercise you enjoy, but know that that plan might have to be adjusted.  So much of having a baby is out of your control. Be flexible with yourself.  Workout when you can and try not to stress when you can’t.  Think about what you put in your mouth.  Above all, enjoy those new little baby moments.  They grow sooo fast!

Now if I just follow my own advice.

What tips do you have for new moms?

Sarah

{Bumpdate} 38 Weeks


Halfway through the 38th week and eek!!  The real scary thing isn’t Halloween this October, rather it’s the unfinished things on our list.  Despite having some things to do yet, we are excited to meet you!  I’m hoping to share some photos from your room very soon.

Baby Girl,

I’ve been thinking about how raising a daughter will be different from raising a son. Teaching middle school has given me quite the insight into how big gender differences are in the teen years.  Dealing with all those emotions and challenges could be interesting.  I also think about the important things I hope to teach you and realize that they are not so different from your brother.  

I want to teach you to be kind to yourself and others.  To be confident, but not arrogant.  To be happy, but always grateful.  To achieve your hopes and dreams, but be willing to tackle a challenge to get there.  To love yourself and others, but be humble.  To make the world a better place than when you arrived.  To be a friend to those in need even if they might be different from you.  To embrace people’s differences while acknowledging your own.  And of course so much more.

I look forward to seeing your sweet baby face and watching you grow into the person you are meant to be my little love. 

Love,

Mom

Feeling:  Completely overwhelmed by our last minute tasks, but so excited to meet you, too.  This past month involved a husband gone for a weekend, a child who visited the doctor 4 times and has been sick on and off with two ear infections and an allergic reaction to antibiotic with full body hives, water in our basement resulting in the complete removal of our finished basement flooring, our washing machine basically quitting and my teaching partner colleague leaving the teaching profession so my long-term sub plans went from an outline and resources to 60 days of day-by-day lesson plans for two long term subs to follow.  Now I know why I’ve been stressed.  Soon you will be here and this will all be forgotten.


Relieved to cross items off our list like gifts for labor and delivery staff (Angie’s Kettle Corn, Kind bar, Chips Ahoy, Ghirardelli Chocolate and Tic Tacs), big brother gift (shirt-got for his bday, puzzle, flash cards, train set and snacks) and daddy’s hospital survival kit (soduko, beef jerky, chips, Mike and Ike’s, Snickers, mints, gum and one dollar bills for the vending machine.  A card, too).  I love making stuff like this, but it totally stresses me out, too.

Cravings: Some days nothing.  Other days sweet stuff.  Pumpkin spice lattes.

Weight Gain: At my 38 week appointment I had gained 25 pounds.

Symptoms:  Nothing new other than feeling like you have moved downward.  Not dropped completely, but on your way.

Workouts/Running:


36 Weeks & 37 Weeks-Walking, Prenatal Sculpt and Yoga as often as possible.  I haven’t been tracking my walks as I just have been so rushed for time.  I’m fitting in a prenatal sculpt workout and/or yoga at home whenever possible.  I’m definitely not rocking the workouts like I’d hoped to be at the end of this pregnancy.


Freezer Meals-(Both are from Diary of a Fit Mommy’s Blog)

Southwest Chicken & Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 15 ounces drain and rinse Black Beans, Canned
  • 1 cup drain Whole Kernel Corn, Canned
  • ½ cups Salsa
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • ½ cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 2 cups chicken, shredded

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine rice, beans, corn, salsa, and cumin.
  2. Divide among indicated number of baking pans and top with cheese.
  3. Cover tightly with foil. Label and freeze.
  4. Bake from frozen at 350 for 1 hour or until cheese is melted and rice is warmed through.

Pepperjack Chicken Taquitos-SO AMAZING.  A must make!

Ingredients:

  • 8oz. cream cheese
  • 3 c. chicken, cooked & shredded
  • 1.5 c. shredded pepperjack cheese
  • 1 6oz. can green chilies or 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 20 small tortillas
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. cumin

Instructions:

  1. Melt cream cheese in a bowl. Mix in the spices, lime juice, chilies (or salsa), chicken, and cheese.
  2. Add 2 tbsp. of mixture to each tortillas and roll.
  3. To freeze, place on wax paper on a cookie cheet and stick in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from cookie sheet and place in a ziplocked gallon bag.
  5. When ready to cook, bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Looking Forward To:  Your arrival and holding you for the first time, AND you and your brother meeting for the first time.


Sarah

{Bumpdate} 36 Weeks

Baby Girl,

36 weeks kind of has me like whoa!  How is it possible that you could really arrive at any time now?  This whole big scary adventure that we’ve been envisioning is really about to start.  I feel so not ready, but yet so ready.  With your brother being sick so much, and what feels like everything else going wrong and things continually popping up on our calendar, I can’t imagine having another small person in the house to care for.  I was really freaking out this week.

Luckily, I had some contractions that woke me up to reality and made me think I need to get real here.  I need to start mentally preparing myself for labor and your arrival if I want to welcome you into a prepared and calm environment.  It got me to read some birth stories and really focus in on what was important.  It made me remember how I can’t wait to meet you and snuggle you on my chest.  It reminded me how amazing forming that breastfeeding relationship can be.  It focused me in on how I can’t wait to see you and your brother become friends as you grow older.

All this mental focus and prioritizing has been so helpful for me to remember that this is truly one of the most exciting times in our lives.  You don’t get to welcome baby #2 again. Finding water in our basement after all this rain and having to tear up the flooring in our finished basement this weekend still threw me for a bit of a freak out.

You seem to be the blessing that brings my focus back to life’s important things.  I love that about you.

Love,

Mom

Feeling:  Nervous about your arrival, but more mentally prepared for the work of labor, delivery and keeping a newborn alive.

I know I can do this.  It will be hard.  I will freak out at times.  Baby girl has a good daddy and a wonderful brother.  She will be so worth the work.

Cravings:  Chocolate and Sweets still!  My 1/2 cup serving of frozen yogurt is happening quite a few times a week now.  Blood sugars are still great.

Weight Gain: At my last appointment at 36 weeks on the dot I had gained 22.3 pounds. I had lost an ounce since my last appointment.  I was concerned since I’ve really only gained back the weight I lost since 29 weeks and now weigh actually just below the amount I did at my 29 week appointment.  The dietician had also mentioned my lack of weight gain at my last appointment, which I did point out to her that I had gained some weight, but after losing a few pounds it didn’t look like it.  When I spoke with my midwife about not really gaining weight in the past weeks, she said I had gained at a steady rate during the second trimester so she was not concerned.  My uterus is measuring on for my 36 weeks, too so baby is growing even if I’m not gaining weight.

Symptoms:  Feeling good early in the day and much more tired as the day goes on and in the evening.  No new symptoms!  Just exhausted at times, uncomfortable at times and feeling good at other times.

Workouts/Running:  I have been walking and got in a great run.  I still am fitting it in when I can rather than making any regular routine work.  

34 Weeks-


Walked-9 miles

35 Weeks-


Ran-2.5 miles (I felt amazing on this run. Wish I could find a way to make more running work right now.)

Walked-12 miles

Freezer Meals-

I don’t have time to share the links this week.  Nothing special with these, but I will add in links later.

Homemade Mac n’Cheese

Slow Cooker Roast

Looking Forward To:  I’m going to be honest.  I’m wavering back and forth between looking forward to not being pregnant anymore and trying to enjoy every last kick she gives.  You never know if this is the last baby or not.

Sarah

 

 

 

{Bumpdate} 34 Weeks

Baby Girl,

Most of the time I now think of myself as having two kids.  It is both exciting and scary. Not a vision goes by of our family’s future that you are not a part of.  Dream vacations, family trips, and thoughts of everyday moments include you in it.  When you think about how we don’t even know what you look like or who you will be, it is kind of crazy that you are such a part of our life already.

I’m also convinced that your brother knows you are in there even if he can’t understand what that means exactly.  He has become even more obsessed with lifting up my shirt and poking my belly button, but he also seems to be feeling my belly more lately.  Without any prompting he has also started laying his head on you.  The other night when I was up with him all night because he’s been sick, his little head was laying on my belly and you were just a kicking away.  Looks like you are picking on him already.

Of course, I hope you spend more time getting along than not.

Love,

Mom

Feeling:  Nervous about your arrival and guilty for having another child.

I’m so caught up in what this change will be like for Pierce and worrying about how he will take it.  I feel guilty for the time it will take away from him and the attention he will miss out on.  I can’t imagine spending less time with him or not being involved in his every moment.  At the same time, I’m nervous about your arrival.  I feel like I’m not as prepared as the weeks keep flying by and I haven’t been preparing like I did last time.  I feel like it was so long ago that we had a newborn even though it was only 16 months ago.


Cravings:  Chocolate!  Hershey kisses have only a 2.8g of carbs, so I find myself enjoying a few here and there.  My blood sugar still remains great, and I have only had one high reading by 1 point on a unique day (after eating out and sitting).

Weight Gain: At my last appointment a week and a half ago I had gained 21.5 pounds.

Symptoms:  Feeling good some days and very pregnant others.  Very tired after school days.  Like I can’t even think straight tired.  Suffering battered feet.  It appears my feet have grown a half size or more by the end of some days.  I have almost no work shoes that I can get my feet into.  The ones I can squeeze into leave my feet brutalized by the end of the day.  Peeing all of the time.  Seriously!  Multiple times a night.

Workouts/Running:  The struggle has been real.  

I’m trying to not make excuses, but juggling the school day, picking up Pierce and getting dinner ready for a hungry little person earlier than I expected everyday (he eats lunch at 11:00) makes getting in a workout after school impossible.  The husband is home too late to help start dinner or help in other ways.  After Pierce goes to bed, forget about it.  I am falling asleep in seconds if I sit down.  Right now I feel I need the extra rest.

As for my weekend goals, well the struggle continues.  Two weekends ago we were out of town the entire weekend.  If you have a young kid or more, then you know this means your kid(s) will wake up extra early and probably not sleep that great.  On top of this, they can terrorize a hotel room in seconds, so working out is super difficult if your also trying to get yourself, a husband and a child fed and ready to be places.

This weekend the husband was gone fishing and I am beyond my capacity to run and push a stroller.  Pierce has also been pretty sick.  We’ve been dealing with a high fever that showed up on at least 6 of the last 7 days.  We’ve been to the doctor twice.  We had planned to run the Labor Day Dash 5k in Madison this past Labor Day, but the little man woke up too sick to do that so we had to adjust our plans.  I was bummed and hoped to run one last race.  Oh, well.  Sacrifice is part of parenthood.  Sick babies need love and attention so workouts take a backseat.

Needless to say, you won’t find many miles ran.  I’m not ready to say I’ve ran my last run yet.  Most of my reasons for not running have little to do with how I feel and more just logistics of life.  I am hoping to get in a few more runs, but if life has another plan for me then I’m also ok with that.  I will have lots of time to run in the future.  As for other types of workout, well logistics have made them a struggle, too.

32 Weeks-


Ran-4.5 miles (2.5, 2)

Walked, but haven’t been keeping track of miles.

33 Weeks-


Ran-0 miles

Walked, but haven’t been keeping track of miles.  I should start.

Freezer Meals:  

Baked Ziti-We like to use whole wheat noodles and up the spices.  Season to your taste!

Cheesy Taco Bake and Tuscan Pasta

Looking Forward To:  Making the most of our last moments as a family of three.

Sarah