Archives for October 2014

A Day in the Life…October 2014

I haven’t written one of these posts in awhile, and I definitely haven’t done one since Emma Kate was born. I thought it would be fun to document what I do in a day so you can see what things look like right now.

5:00- The baby starts fussing in her sleep. Her eyes are closed and she isn’t wake, but is being so noisy I can’t sleep (anyone else have a noisy newborn when they sleep?!?) She was last up right around midnight to eat, so this is a good stretch of time for her since she went back down a little after 1:00.

6:00- After staring at the ceiling for an hour, I finally decide to get up and feed Emma Kate who is now actually waking up. First we have a diaper and outfit change.

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6:15- I let the dogs out to potty, and feed the baby. Then let the dogs back in, and feed them.

6:30- Drink a glass of water then fix some coffee. Put baby in bouncy seat where she looks at the mobile hanging from it for awhile.

6:35- Get on my laptop and check my email and blog, check Facebook and Twitter etc. as long as EK is entertained.

6:50- Well, that didn’t last long. Get baby out of bouncer, try to burp her again, change her diaper, and talk to her and the dogs for a few minutes.

7:15-Put Emma Kate on her activity mat where she looks at her mobile for awhile. I hop back on the computer to do some more work.

7:30- Baby is bored, so we talk and play and sing and look at books until she gets sleepy. After some rocking and a pacifier, she drifts off for a nap, which is good because some days we don’t really nap at all during the day aside from 2-3 fifteen minute cat naps. I put on a load of laundry and jump back on the laptop for some work and emailing clients.

9:00- I realize I am hungry and that I haven’t eaten breakfast yet so I grab some Chobani out of the refrigerator and eat it in front of the computer where I start on a blog post.

10:00- I hear the baby fussing, and she is ready to get up and have her diaper changed. I feed her again, and put her in her swing for a few minutes so I can let the dogs out and grab a glass of water. I sit on the couch and turn on the tv for a few minutes while I hold and snuggle with EK.

10:30- The phone rings, it’s a client who says they will be quick but we end up on the phone for 45 minutes. I tried to keep Emma as entertained as I can while on the phone but she still fusses a bit. Luckily, the client has kids so they are understanding.

11:15- It’s a nice day so we decide to get out of the house and go for a walk, and I hope that it will help Emma Kate drift off to sleep, she loves the motion of the stroller. She does fall asleep, and I am afraid she will wake up so I end up walking for 45 minutes.

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12:00-I bring the baby carrier inside with the baby in it and thankfully she stays asleep for awhile so I can grab some lunch, put the clothes in the dryer, and text Bobby at work.

1:30- EK is awake again and not too happy to be in her carrier. Another diaper and feeding later and she is happy again. She sits in the newborn Boppy lounger and looks around for awhile. I fold clothes on the couch next to the baby and talk to her, then do some dishes in the sink.

2:30- I try to get her to take a nap but she is having none of it. She starts crying and fussing and yawning but refuses to sleep. I swaddle her, put on the white noise app on the iPad, give her a pacifier, and walk her around her rom trying to calm her down. We go back and forth from the rocking chair to walking around and homegirl still won’t give up.

3:30- She finally dozes off and I put her in her crib for a nap. I am excited that I can get a couple hours of uninterrupted work done and finish my blog post, and open up my laptop.

3:37- EK starts screaming. So much for a nap. I try to pat her and shush her and get her to doze back off but she is full blown awake and unhappy. I try putting her in the swing, bouncer, boppy, and just holding her but everything seems to tick her off, especially my singing. I go from sitting to standing to walking, slowly losing my nerve. I feed her again at 4:15 hoping it will calm her down but no such luck.

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5:00- I text Bobby telling him I am having a hard time and he tells me he is on his way home, thankfully.

5:15-I pass EK off to Bobby and go into the other room to decompress. Bobby takes her upstairs and we basically play pass the baby for the next couple of hours. She will get so close to sleep and then wake up again.

6:45- I tell Bobby she likes walks, so he puts her in her carrier and takes her for a stroller walk. She screams the whole way so he gives up and comes back, but I am not giving up so I start running with her in the stroller, looping around the driveway over and over and she stops crying. Bobby takes over because I got a side stitch, and he takes her around the block. He comes in, takes the carrier upstairs, and she stays asleep for exactly five minutes before she wakes up unhappy.

7:30- We feed her again and go upstairs to attempt to watch TV. We put her on the boppy lounger with the white noise app, gave her a baby massage and she finally fell asleep. We are able to watch TV, and I get back on the computer to get work and blog stuff done. I hate working at night since it’s the only time I get to see Bobby, but I don’t have much choice these days.

9:45- I empty the dishwasher, do a little picking up in the living room, and realize how tired I am.

10:00- I take an extra long shower, hang up some clothes in my closet, and check my email one more time before getting in bed where I read for a total of four minutes before falling asleep at 10:45. Bobby has the late shift, so he will take care of the baby’s feeding around midnight, and then we play the rest of the night by ear. Sometimes she’s up at 2 or 3, sometimes not until 5 if we are lucky, then it’s time to do it all over again!

QOTD: Does your baby like your singing? Do they like to ride in the car or stroller?

Body After Baby: One Month

I posted Emma Kate’s one month update last week, and now it’s time for my update! I know these types of posts can be kind of touchy, so please keep in mind 1.) I have been cleared by my doctor for running, and 2.) These are MY personal feelings on my body, my progress, etc. Everyone is different, some people don’t care about working out again after a baby or losing the weight, but it is important for me to have goals and milestones to keep myself going.

I lost 17 pounds in the first ten days post partum. I was feeling great about myself and thought “hey, this isn’t so hard! I am still eating like I am pregnant and not working out, this is great!” But then..I stalled. From day 17 until now I have lost exactly one pound.

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I know this is normal, but it can still be frustrating. But, as they say, it took 9 months for me to gain it, so I just need to be patient.

It’s not as much about the way I look, but more about the way I feel. I am chafing in places I never chaffed before, feel heavy on my feet running, and can’t fit into any of my pants or shorts which makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m back in most of my regular tops, but still in maternity bottoms (and stretchy forgiving capri pants to run in!)

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For month two I am going to focus more on what I am eating. I know I formed some bad habits while I was pregnant and I need to break them. Right now my biggest issue is time. I am so busy with my job and the baby I am having a hard time fitting in anything else. Working out is something that keeps me sane and calm, so when I don’t get to do it I am even more stressed. I am home alone with her all day, and sometimes Bobby works odd hours which can make it difficult to get a workout in other than walking the baby in the stroller.

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So how exactly are my workouts going? Slow, but I am doing more at this stage than I thought I would be doing which makes me proud. Last week I ran four times. Well, run/walked. 2 miles twice and 2.25 miles twice. Yesterday I ran/walked 3 miles, a new post baby PDR. It’s slow, but I am building my base back up for my upcoming races that I cannot wait to run, I miss it!

QOTD: When did you go back to working out after you had a baby? Do you struggle more with workouts or eating right?

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

This post is sponsored by Mizuno and Fitfluential, however all opinions are my own.

I am pretty picky about my running shoes. I have tried a lot of different brands and models, but only a few actually “stick” with me long term. Mizuno is one of very few brands I have bought multiple pair of shoes from because they do ok with my oh so picky feet. I was really excited to try the new Wave Rider 18’s, and went for a walk the first day I got them.

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The colors are really cool, and not something you typically see.The official colors are Black/Silver/Florida Keys (Who else loves really unique color names?)

The shoe weights 7.8 oz with a 12 mm drop and provides a stable ride for an everyday running shoe. It is a neutral shoe, which means it can work for a wide range of runners. The Wave Rider 18 has a good blend of guidance and flexibility.

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Typically when a shoe has a bit of guidance and support, they are really heavy and clunky, but that’s not the case here. The Wave technology is really responsive and has just enough cushion for logging some serious miles.

This shoe retails for a reasonable $119.99, and comes in men’s and women’s styles.

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I found the Wave Rider 18 to be true to size. I have high arches and require a large toebox, so I did find the front area a bit more snug than other models, but it would be fine for most people (I have morton’s neuroma so need the extra wiggle room”).

If you would like more information be sure to visit Mizuno’s website, or follow along with #WaveRider18

QOTD: Do you run in a neutral or stability shoe? What do you look for in a running shoe? Are colors important?

Emma Kate: Month One

Wow. Just….wow. How is this possible? How is my baby ONE MONTH old?!?! The first two and a half weeks, the days drug on so slowly, but in the past week or so she has changed so much and time is flying.

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I decided to break up my posts into two, so she will have her own post, then I will do one on how I am doing one month out sometime next week. So, let’s take a look at “baby M” and her first month of life.

First off, we are so thankful that she is a healthy baby with no serious medical problems. I realize how truly blessed we are that she arrived healthy and has remained so. I have heard horror stories of babies not sleeping at all, crying non stop and the like, and I can say aside from her first week of life and then a few days of fussiness around 2.5 weeks, she is a very happy non-fussy baby.

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In the beginning, she was nursing for 45-50 minutes every two hours, so I was only getting an hour break. I started pumping and Bobby started giving her a bottle at night around the second week and it was SO nice to get a little extra sleep.

We had a little issue at first with jaundice and weight loss which is now under control and Emma Kate is gaining weight like a champ. Her two week checkup went great, and by just over three weeks she weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces.

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EK has just in the past few days really started to look at the world around her. For the first couple of weeks she was so sleepy and we would put her in the Boppy newborn lounger in whatever room I was in, and she would snooze on and off all day. But, now we alternate between the swing, bouncer, Boppy, and her activity gym when she’s not being held.

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Emma Kate is not impressed.

At three weeks, Emma Kate was doing tummy time on her activity  mat and she rolled over on her back! I about flipped out, and she just looked at me like “what, mom?”

She likes her pacifier, but ONLY the soothie ones. She hasn’t had any trouble taking a bottle, and will take one from anyone. She is VERY vocal, constantly making noises, grunting, groaning, and moaning even in her sleep.

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As far as clothing goes, she can still fit into newborn onesies, but outgrew the footie pajamas after week two because her legs are so long! 0-3 are still huge on her though, and she is still in newborn diapers. I bought ONE newborn outfit for her, so the only clothes in that size she has are from friends/baby shower, so she has been wearing the same things over and over. I can’t wait until she goes up a size and can wear cute new outfits she has never worn!

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Emma Kate sleeps in the Bassinest next to our bed (more on that later in a separate post!) but prefers to nap on her stomach during the day. Don’t worry, I keep a close eye on her, and she can lift her head and turn it side to side, and we don’t put blankets around her. She will sleep in 4 hours stretches at night now which is awesome.

She has such a sweet personality, and loves being held. She likes when I walk around so she can see everything in the house. Homegirl does NOT like having a wet or dirty diaper and will scream, even waking herself up from sleep when she has one. But really, can you blame her? unnamed (17)

Everyone comments on how much hair she has, and asks if she had that much when she was born. I think she looks like me, but has Bobby’s mouth, and certain facial expressions she has look like Bobby, too. Baby started getting some acne on her face at week two, and also has been having some seriously dry skin. Other than that which is super minor, she is healthy and (I hope!) happy. She is changing daily!

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QOTD: When did your baby start sleeping in long stretches? What about smiling?

My Favorite Social Media Apps

Social media is a big part of my life, and since I am on the go a lot, so are social media apps for my phone and iPad. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you, aside from the obvious Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. The following apps are all things that HELP already existing accounts you may have on those platforms.

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Buffer: The Buffer app is a great tool for scheduling things like Tweets and Facebook posts. You can add in 10 updates with the free version and they will be posted during the day at times you set, so you don’t have to worry about posting too many things at once. You can also add a buffer button at the top of your toolbar, so anytime you are on a blog or website and see an article you want to tweet or post about but don’t want to do it this minute, you just click the button and the post gets composed and added to your buffer que to be posted at a later time, it’s so easy. My favorite feature is that I can see the likes, comments, shares, and reach for each post.

Facebook Pages Manager: This one should be a given if you have a Facebook fan page. It is especially helpful if you have multiple pages like I do. I can easily toggle between them and see notifications and messages, write new posts, post photos, etc. Without having to go into my actual Facebook app.

Flipboard: This is a great app where you can get up to date content and news that would be relevant to your blog or topics of interest to your followers. (You pick the topics that come up). Once you find an article or story you like, you can share straight to Facebook or Twitter among others. This is a great tool to increase engagement and is a good conversation starter among your followers.

Snapseed: This is a photo editing tool I use a lot before I post photos to Instagram. It has a lot of basic options like frames, straighten, and copping, but also has some great ways to fine tune the coloring, sharpness, and focus of an image. There are a ton of editing choices and it’s fun to play around with.

 

QOTD: What is your favorite app that helps with social media?

Weekend Happenings (Plus adorable baby costume photos)

We finally had a beautiful fall-ish weekend here in the south (aka weather in the mid 70’s) and my dad came to visit on Saturday as well. We were able to be outside a lot which was good for this new mama who has been trapped indoors for over three weeks, and Emma Kate was so good! Here are some pictures from our weekend.

Saturday morning, my dad arrived early and we hung out for a bit before heading to lunch at McAlisters where we were able to eat outside and enjoy the beautiful day.

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I put EK in her cute fall outfit (which is too big on her and it’s 0-3 months!)

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She didn’t make a peep through lunch, and then we walked across the street to an antique car show and festival our town was holding.

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The festival has gotten huge, there were rows upon rows of old cars.

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There were even some racecars, and of course the pink one was my favorite.

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We came back to the house and watched football, then it was time to BBQ in the backyard.

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Homegirl was exhausted from such a long day out and about.

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We ate and watched the LSU game, then headed to bed. On Sunday morning, my dad left and I went for my first run/walk post baby. I ran a tenth, walked a tenth, for two miles. The weather was gorgeous, and I was so thankful to be out there, but man do I have a long way to go! It was very humbling.

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Sunday evening, our church held a “fun fest” with games, food, and where the kids could wear their halloween costumes. Emma Kate, of course, dressed up as Minnie Mouse. She was not a fan of the hat. It did not stay on long.

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I cannot get over the cute.

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The festival was really nice, a great place for families to hang out and for the kids to get candy. Emma Kate did SO good and only cried when I was putting her in and out of the car, so I would consider the outing a win!

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That sums up our weekend, it was a good one and I hope yours was, too!

QOTD; Have you attended any fall festivals this year? Favorite costume your kids have worn?

My Post Baby Shape Up Plan

Now that I am three weeks postpartum, I have started thinking about my post baby shape up plan. Even though I had a pretty good tear during delivery, my doctor gave me the ok to start going on slow strolls when I got home, and slowly resume workouts after two weeks if I felt up to it. I went for one walk a week and a half after Emma Kate was born, and then another two days ago, for one hour with her in the BOB Revolution SE.

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Be looking for a full review of this awesome stroller in the next month. I am loving it so far, and luckily Emma Kate loves going for walks! It’s really easy to maneuver and is so smooth, but more on that later.

Up until about day 19 I was seriously questioning my ability to get back into workouts. I was still not feeling “normal” from the delivery physically, and was experiencing pain and pressure, but I can honestly say I just woke up and turned a corner the other day, and now feel more confident in my ability to get going again. So, here is my “plan” to SLOWY get back into shape. Please keep in mind I am in no hurry, am not frantic about losing the weight, but I do feel if I don’t have a true plan outlined I will just kind of flounder around not really getting anywhere, so here goes:

1.) Cut back on the junk: My very sweet friends from church and my family have been bringing us meals for the past three weeks. This has been SO wonderful, but now that it is ending I am going to have to get back into cooking again, and not eating so much junk during the day. I cut myself slack the first three weeks because I was sleep deprived, still learning this whole mom thing and what not, but it’s time to stop making excuses. I can still be sleep deprived and eat healthy!

2.) Walk every other day until four weeks post partum, then start walk/running 2-3 times a week: Going on my one hour walk on Monday really boosted my confidence. Granted, it was a SLOW walk, but I was pushing the baby in the BOB. I plan to continue to walk, especially since the weather is nice this week, and am hoping next week to start a Galloway-type run/walk/run until I am strictly back to running and not walking. I do have some races coming up in early 2015!

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new shoes make getting outside a lot easier!

 

3.) Join a gym at the beginning of November: When we first moved back up here in the summer, Bobby joined a local gym. I was getting to the very uncomfortable stage of pregnancy where all I was doing was walking, so I thought I would save some money and wait and join the gym after the baby came. By 4 weeks post partum I think I will be ready to start doing some light weight lifting and cross training. It will feel good to be back at a gym again!

4.) Keep track of my progress: If I don’t keep track of what I am doing to where I can see my progress, I am more likely to give up. I have been using my Aria wi-fi scale to track my weight, and will continue to do so and plan to go back to wearing my fit bit to help me keep track of what I am doing during the day.

QOTD: Any tips for getting back into shape post baby?

Emma Kate’s Birth Story: Part III

We left off  part II  of Emma Kate’s birth story with her getting cleaned up and me getting stitched up. I was very aware of the fact I was being stitched, but couldn’t feel anything. In an effort to not mentally psych myself off over what just happened and was currently happening, I kept looking over to the side at Bobby and the baby, trying to think of other things.

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The stitching seemed to be taking a REALLY long time which made me nervous. My entire body was shaking uncontrollably, it was weird not being able to stop it. I still was able to snap pictures with my cell phone as I was being worked on though!

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After a few minutes, the baby was given to me, but since I was shaking so badly I asked the nurses to stay by me and help me hold her because I was so scared I would drop her since I couldn’t control my arms.

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We decided to try nursing, so they helped hold her for me while I kept shaking, still being stitched up. I kept hearing things like “bleeding a lot” and “more medicine” and they kept pressing down on my abdomen trying to get it to clamp down. Again, I tried not to pay attention, but at this point I was a bit too overwhelmed and I started to get nauseated. I told the nurse I felt like I was going to throw up, so they grabbed a tray and held it up for me, and they also held a towel up so I wouldn’t vomit on the baby. I was quite a site, laying there, getting stitched up, shaking uncontrollably, trying to feed the baby, all while dry heaving and having a towel held up over the baby. Bobby said my face went completely white while this was happening. I ended up dry heaving a few more times but didn’t actually throw up. They asked me if I wanted zofran I said it wasn’t working that I already had it, and they said they could give me a shot of Phenergan, but that it would make me sleepy. I said I DON’T CARE! GIVE IT TO ME! Thank goodness for that shot, it really helped me and I needed the sleep. Bobby took the baby down the hall to see our moms, and this was the picture Bobby’s mom snapped when he walked up, I love it.

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They took the baby to the nursery for some tests and a bath, and my nurse was kind enough to shoo everyone out of my room so I could nap, and I was so thankful for her at that moment! I took the most glorious thirty minute nap, until the anesthesiologist came in to take the epidural stuff out of my back. I was slightly annoyed that he woke me up for that, and had forgotten about it even being there. I thought no big deal, he will take it out, take the tape off and back to sleep I go. Well, it’s comical now but was not at the moment….him taking all of the tape off of my back was WAY more painful than the epidural. I think I actually cried. Oh the irony.

Some sweet friends from church came by to see me and the baby, and it is all kind of a blur but I was so glad to see them. The nurse brought Emma Kate back so everyone could hold her, and soon the nurse said I would be heading to my recovery room I would be in for two nights. Well, an hour passed, and I was still not in my room, and I was starting to feel the pain from the delivery. I was so delirious from exhaustion and I just wanted to go to sleep. I fed the baby again, and I asked the nurse if I could eat. She said yes, so I sent Bobby to go get me some fast food. (It was 9:45 and everything closed at 10:00). He was supposed to meet me in my recovery room with all my stuff, but when he got back they still had not moved me and I was starving! At this point, I had not eaten in 23 hours and had slept for 30 minutes. Finally I was brought down to my new room, and given a shot of Demerol for the pain and more Phenergan just to be safe, which I was very thankful for.

I met my new nurse who was very sweet, and she helped me get situated and I was FINALLY able to eat at 11:00. Yes my chicken fingers and fries were freezing cold, but I scarfed them down and it was the best meal ever. I fed the baby again (we had the nursery keep her until it was time to eat so I could get some rest), and then I passed out for a couple of hours. I fed Emma Kate on and off all night, and even though it was broken sleep hooked up to an IV, it felt so nice to relax and rest. Apparently EK’s glucose was low, so they had to keep giving her heel sticks until it went back up the next day.

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I’m not totally sure what I did the next day, I know my mom and some friends came to visit, and Bobby got us food a couple of times (the cafeteria food was NOT good), and I did some napping. It’s all kind of a blur to be honest.

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I do remember taking this next photo, EK had her first poopy diaper and it took Bobby and my mom (and a really long time) to get her changed.

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I was finally able to have my IV taken out and it felt great to be able to freely move again. However, I was so swollen from all of the fluids! I was then able to change into my own clothes which was nice.

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Wearing my pretty pink BIC band!

That night was more of the same, and the next day (Friday) we were released around lunch time to go home! Homegirl does not like her car seat.

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It was scary that they just let us walk out the door with this tiny human, and no instruction manual, but I’d say we are doing alright. A lot of it is trial and error, and some of it comes more naturally than I thought it would. Smile

QOTD: Was it scary to you going home with your baby for the first time? Who else hates being nauseated?

Losing the Baby Weight: A Guest Post

Hi everyone!  I’m Denise and I blog at Healthy Disney Family. While Heather is spending time with sweet little Emma Kate, I’m here to talk about tips for losing weight after having a baby.

One of the biggest challenges for many new moms is losing the weight they’ve gained during pregnancy. It was a huge challenge for me. After being on restricted activity and bed rest throughout my pregnancy for severe pre-eclampsia and other complications, I gained 70 pounds. When my little boy Chase was born healthy, I was filled with joy and happiness to be his mom! At the same time though, I was deeply sad because I had gained so much weight and didn’t recognize myself anymore in the mirror.  I was 5’5.5 and weighed 245 pounds after I delivered. I’d never been that heavy in my life and the weight seemed determined to stay there. I wanted to be a healthy and active mom who could play with my son and not get winded just getting up off the couch. I had to make a real lifestyle change and work harder than I ever had in my life to lose weight. If you’d like to lose weight, I’m sharing my experience in hopes that it will help you too.

Here are some tips that helped me lose the baby weight, plus an extra 40 pounds!

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1. Join a Mom and Baby fitness class – I joined Stroller Strides when Chase was an infant and it really got me on the right track. When I started, it was Winter and the classes were held indoors. We met at a local mall and walked around with our jogging strollers, stopping at different areas to workout on the floor or with our resistance bands. It was fun way to both exercise and meet other moms and their babies. The friendships you make through Mom and Baby fitness classes are wonderful and long lasting. We still hang out with moms and kids we met there!

2. Eating healthier, whole foods – As a pregnant mom, sometimes when we’re “eating for two” the portions are larger than we ate before pregnancy or we rely on take out, processed or prepared foods instead of cooking. When I talked to my doctor about how slow my weight loss was going, he recommended 80/20 eating to me. He said 80% of what I ate should be recognizable to my great, great grandparents if they saw it. The remaining 20% could be flexible. So veggies and whole grains – yes. Twinkies and fast food – no. I thought it would be really hard to stick with but surprisingly your tastes change pretty quickly. I really started craving the healthy food!

3. Portion control – Even with eating healthier foods, portions matter. If you eat too much or too many calories, you’ll maintain or worse – gain more weight. I had a hard time cutting back my portion size when I was working out twice a day and even though my body was looking leaner, I still saw the same big numbers on the scale. It was only when I got serious about cutting my portions down that the rest of the weight came off.

4. Food journaling – Writing down everything you eat or drink really helps to open your eyes to what and how much you’re eating. I’ve maintained a healthy weight for a few years now but sometimes my scale will bump up 5-10 pounds while I’m training hard, or most recently after our road trip to Disneyland in August. I always go back to journaling to help me get back on track. My favorite food journaling apps are My Net Diary and My Fitness Pal.

5. Sign up for a race – This is my favorite tip of all for anyone who runs or wants to run. I still had 60 pounds to lose when we took our son to Disneyland on Labor Day in 2011. I saw so many people walking around the park wearing their runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon medals and finisher’s shirts. I didn’t even know they had races at Disneyland but as a lifelong Disney fan, I thought it sounded incredible! A Half Marathon seemed huge and scary to me at the time, but how cool would it be to run at Disney?!

I decided right then that my goal was run a Half Marathon at Disneyland. I made a deal with myself that I would hit my goal weight of 135 pounds, 40 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight of 175 before the race. That was the push I needed to bring all of the things I’d learned about weight loss together. I ate 80/20 with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, journaled everything, and followed Jeff Galloway’s run/walk training plan for the runDisney Tinker Bell Half Marathon. I met my weight goal of 135 in December of 2012. I ran the Tinker Bell Half at Disneyland the following January feeling healthy and strong, better than I ever had. My family got involved too! My husband ran the 5K and our son did the Kids Race. It was amazing to have my family there, participating in the runDisney races, and supporting my lifestyle change. Following the Tinker Bell Half, I went on to run 4 more Half Marathons and 2 Full Marathons. I’m now training for the 2015 runDisney Dopey Challenge and the 2015 runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge at Walt Disney World.

Thanks Heather for letting me share my story and weight loss tips on your wonderful blog!

QOTD: What is your best tip for losing weight after having a baby?

Emma Kate’s Birth Story: Part II

We left off part one of Emma Kate’s birth story with me getting ready to get my epidural. I apologize for the wordiness and lack of photos until the end. Again, if birth stores aren’t your thing, feel free to skip this one!

As I said before, I was really nervous about this but knew it would make me feel better so I was as ready as I was going to get. The anesthesiologist came in a few minutes later, and the nurse helped position me on the bed and had me hunch over. Honestly, the anticipation was the worst part. It took the doctor about five minutes to prep his stuff (and me), and so I just had to sit there bent over with the nurse holding my shoulders down while I waited. Finally it was time and it was almost comical how much it DIDN’T hurt. It felt the exact same as the IV I had put in my arm that morning. I could feel pressure in my spine after the initial insertion, which was more weird/creepy than anything, but then it was done and within a couple of minutes I felt amazingly better. However, I had started having some slight nausea, and the nurse gave me some zofran in my IV. It never totally went away but the medicine did help take the edge off.

I was all set to take a nap, and my mom and Bobby’s mom and her husband came in for a visit. We chatted for awhile which helped the time pass, and it was so odd to look at the monitor seeing these huge contractions, but not being able to feel anything. (This was around 9:45). At 10:00 I was checked again, and was at 5 cm. Progress! Bobby decided to go grab some lunch while I had other family there, and I really don’t remember what I did between 10:00 and 12:00. My intention was to nap, but it never happened. I am fairly certain I was just playing on my phone and texting back and forth with friends and family.

At noon I was checked again, 7 cm! They wanted me to progress a centimeter every hour to 1.5 hours, and so far I was right on track. They estimated I would have baby M by mid afternoon. About this time, they put the oxygen mask on me for a few minutes as a precaution because baby’s heart rate was jumping around just a bit.

At 1:45, I was checked again and at 8 cm. A little bit slower progress, but progress none the same. About this time, I noticed that I could feel my left leg more than my right leg. It was a very noticeable difference, and since I have heard stories of people feeling everything on one side and not the other because the epidural didn’t work right, I got a little nervous. We tried tilting my body to the side but I actually started to feel more as time went by. Soon, I was starting to feel contractions in me left side, and I got REALLY nervous.

At 3:00, I was checked again as we were trying to decide what was wrong with the epidural, and the nurse said “oh, no wonder you are feeling it on one side, you are complete! 10 cm, time to push!” Basically, the baby was RIGHT THERE and that’s why I was feeling it on one side, she said once we started pushing that the pain should go away and I shouldn’t be able to feel anything. Whew!

I had no idea how the pushing part was going to go, as my only frame of reference was movies and TV, super reliable I know. I was surprised that it was way more relaxed and calm than I was anticipating. The nurse told me since I was a first time mom I potentially could push for 2-3 hours but since I was more in shape, it hopefully wouldn’t take that long.

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Time to push!

She lowered this huge light down from the ceiling, and she sat on one side of the bed while Bobby sat on the other. The nurse explained to me the muscles I needed to use to push, which was pretty funny because I couldn’t feel anything! She would tell me “good, yes!” and I’m thinking “I have NO idea what I am doing because I can’t feel anything!” I tried to imagine using certain muscles, and apparently I did a good job because I only had to push for about 45-50 minutes, and the nurse said “alright let’s call your doctor, it’s time to have a baby!”

Apparently baby M was very very close to coming out, because the nurse and everyone that walked in kept saying “oh my gosh that baby has a head full of hair!” I seriously must have heard it ten times before I ever saw the child!

Soon my doctor arrived and the room got really busy. Nurses coming in and out, prepping the area, putting down tarps, gathering instruments, etc. Looking back it all seems like a huge blur and seemed to go by so fast but at the same time so slow. My old nurse Laura showed up just in time to help and watch as well.

The nursery nurse arrived since I wanted her to stay in the room with me for awhile, and soon my doctor had on her gloves (along with some big rain boots, we later figured out why…the birth process is quite gross and messy!) It was then time to push again, and I remember waiting for a contraction and the doctor saying she has been known to “scare contractions away”.

Every contraction I would push three times, each time with a count to ten. Again, this part is all a blur, I tried to “push” without being able to feel a thing, and on the third contraction and the first push of that contraction, out came baby M! My body felt so weird when she came out, like an instant void in my stomach, it was so strange.

After a few seconds she was crying up a storm and my doctor held her up for us to see and then cut the cord. She was brought over to the nursery nurse to be weighted and measured and her APGAR scores were great, a 9 and a 10. Everyone talks about this instant overwhelming love they experience, and honestly I didn’t have that right away. There was a LOT going on in that room, and I was really, really overwhelmed by it all and had not had time to process things yet. I was physically and mentally exhausted and getting more nauseated. I knew she was my baby and I cared for her, but my feelings at the time were…weird? I’m really not sure how to explain it! I think I was in shock.

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Baby M weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 21 and 1/4 inches long. Bobby stood in between me and her taking pictures as I got stitched up. However, it seemed to be taking a really long time…

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Happy Birthday Emma Kate Montgomery!

The rest of the story will be in part III, with a lot more pictures, I promise!

QOTD: How did you feel right when your baby was born? Happy? overwhelmed? Anxious? Do you ever remember? How long did you push?