Body After Baby: Two Years

Note: This post is about body image, weight loss, and eating. If this may be a trigger for you, please feel free to skip this post and come back another day!

I know it may seem a little odd to do a body after baby post so long after giving birth, but for me personally it has taken this long to really feel good about myself. I wanted to be sure other women know that if it doesn’t happen in 3, 6, 12 or 18 months, IT’S OK. Slow progress sticks around better for me anyway as opposed to a quick fix, and I much prefer lifestyle changes instead of “diets”.

For a quick refresher before we dive into the now, let’s take a look at what I looked like one month postpartum below:

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and then again six months postpartum below:

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and now (2 years postpartum) below:

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Also here’s a shot from the day I had Emma Kate (9/24/14), and then from August of this year:

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When I was 12 months postpartum, I was one pound over my pre pregnancy weight, so I weighed 151. At the time I was happy with that, but what I didn’t realize then was that I wasn’t in the best shape when I got pregnant…so getting back to my pre pregnancy weight still wasn’t my “happy weight”. I wanted to be stronger and have more muscle. I wanted to feel better, to be the best mom I could be.

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I am now sitting at 143 pounds, so I have lost eight pounds since probably about mid June (yes I sat at 151 from last September until this June, fluctuating a pound or so here and there). So what changed? Well, a couple of things.

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(The above photo was taken on day FOUR of eating out at restaurants for every meal. If only I had been able to take photos at the beginning of the trip!)

1.) I amped up my workouts. I was doing bootcamp 3-4 times a week and running 1-2 times a week while resting 1-2 days. It just wasn’t giving me results as fast as I would like, so I moved up to bootcamp 5 days a week and running once a week, sometimes twice. I also started running stadiums on Wednesday mornings before class. Some weeks I do take off two days, but I aim for only one day of full rest. My current schedule looks something like this:

Sunday: OFF

Monday: Boot camp

Tuesday: Boot camp

Wednesday: Stadiums and sprints at the track, HEAT class (like Orange theory)

Thursday: Boot Camp

Friday: Boot Camp

Saturday: Long run

As much as I enjoy racing and will continue to do so, it just isn’t working for me right now to run tons and tons of miles to get faster for longer distances. I would much rather be strong than fast, so it is what it is.

2.) I cleaned up my eating. I seriously loathe counting calories, but knew I at least needed an “idea” of how many calories I was eating in a day, so I counted calories for a week or so (as well as macros) just to get a good starting point. What I realized is I don’t get enough protein, and I was eating too many carbs and fats, as well as overall calories. Lots of snacking folks! After counting on My Fitness Pal, I felt like I had a firm grasp on my hunger cues, and about how much I needed to eat a day to still be able to workout hard and not feel weak.

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So what happened? I started eating foods that filled me up more to fuel my tough workouts instead of empty calories. I stopped eating late at night, and I was just more mindful in general. Do I still eat candy and drink alcohol? Heck yes! But for example…if I know I’m going out with friends that night, I am more careful during the day and the day before. It’s seriously all about planning ahead and meal prep these days, and it really does pay off (I talk about meal prep more in my book!)

After a couple of weeks, I started noticing that I could SEE my muscle more in my arms, abs, and legs. It was under there the whole time, it was just hidden. Smile

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I have been able to go up in weight when doing a lot of exercises, and I don’t tire out near as easily. It’s such a good feeling to be able to add that 25 pound plate at the squat rack, or use heavier dumbbells for bicep curls or kickbacks.

The beginning of November marks one year of boot camp, and if you look back and read my 12 month body after baby post, you will see I was just about to start boot camp and had a “we’ll see what happens” attitude towards it. Never did I think I would end up falling in love with it and making great friends at my gym.

I started really PUSHING myself at boot camp this summer, in spite of having been going since the end of 2015. I began not just doing the bare minimum, but really pushing myself to my limits and taking it seriously. I work out way too hard to ruin it with a bad diet or injury, so I am more careful with everything I do now. I have lost fat, gained muscle, and still managed to lose weight in the process. I honestly am not as concerned about the number on the scale though. I just want to feel good in my clothes, and have energy and confidence.

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I want to be a good role model for my now two year old daughter, and teach her to work hard for the things in life she really wants. I want her to learn discipline, self love, and respect for her body. I want to run races with her, teach her how to lift, and help her find her passions.

To all the new mamas out there or mamas about to have babies, I know, I KNOW, it’s so much easier said than done, but you can get to where you want to be. Don’t get bogged down in a timeframe. Enjoy your baby, and get back to working out when YOU feel ready. It may take you two years, it may not. Don’t let the amount of time it took me scare you. But just know if it does take two years, that’s ok. Do the best that you can, making small changes one at a time. Make your health a priority, and please don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can’t do it all on your own. We are all in this together, and other moms understand the best just how stressful it can be, so lean on each other. If you don’t have someone who supports you wanting to get healthy, FIND SOMEONE. In real life, online, at the gym, at church, etc. Find your people. You can do this. Be BRAVE! You can have a great body after baby!

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So what’s next for me? Sadly, this round of my beloved boot camp ends November 4th, and then I move to Tampa. I’m sure things will be up in the air for awhile until I find a new gym home. I hope I can find a new boot camp class as awesome as the one I have here, but it’s highly doubtful any group can compare. Smile I look forward to having more racing opportunities in Florida, and making new workout friends. Who knows what’s next? It will be a fun ride to find out.

QOTD: How long did it take you to get your body where you wanted it after having a baby? What worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you?

A Small Victory

When we moved into our house last August, I was very very pregnant. We unpacked the entire house prior to Emma Kate’s arrival, because I knew if it didn’t get done then, that it wouldn’t get done for a looonngggg time. We did a good job, and pretty much everything had a place.

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After the baby was born, the weather turned cold, and I knew there was no way I was going to fit into my pre baby blue jeans. I hated the thought of spending money on clothes that I would hopefully not be wearing for long, and I kind of felt like I was “giving in” to being a bigger size, but I also knew I couldn’t wear leggings all winter (or could I? hmmm). I was finally convinced to buy just ONE pair of jeans, I refused to get more than that. They served me well, and spring came and I never had to wear them again.

This past weekend, we had our first “cold snap” down here in Mississippi, and I busted out my jeans to go to a fall festival. I put them on and immediately realized there was a problem. It was a GOOD problem to have, but still a problem. I could literally pull my pants down over my hips without unbuttoning them. I wore them to the festival and was constantly pulling them up. As soon as we got home, I went in my closet to look for all of my pre baby blue jeans…..I looked, and I looked…and I looked some more. Huh. I looked under the beds, and even dug through every. single. box. in the attic. NO JEANS! What the heck!

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I still have no idea what happened. I really really hate the phrase “they got lost in the move”, because seriously, how does that happen? You put boxes on the truck, you take them off the truck…but there is no other explanation. I’m pretty bummed because I had about 8-10 pair, including my all time favorites of course, but unfortunately my only other option is to buy more jeans. We have put ourselves on a pretty strict budget lately trying to get things going with the yogurt shop, so the last thing I wanted to do was buy unnecessary things, but I guess at this point it is necessary? Anyway, I’m rambling.

So yesterday I went to the outlet mall, because no way I’m paying full price for jeans I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE BUYING, and actually hit a really good sale on jeans and snagged a pair at a great price. I’m still in denial and hoping the old jeans magically appear so I just bought one pair, but the best and important part of this story is that I FIT INTO MY OLD SIZE! They are a little bit snug, but YAY! I honestly wasn’t even sure what size to bring into the fitting room so I brought three different sizes in. I was surprised, and really really happy! 

Why did I take 500 words to tell you this? 1.) because I am still aggravated about all my jeans and just wanted to tell someone (you’re welcome), and 2.) I wanted to tell you all that it’s OK if you don’t reach your goals in the timeframe you initially set for yourself. it doesn’t mean you give up, KEEP GOING! Would I have loved to reach this goal in the nine month timeframe I had set for myself? Of course! But life sometimes life gets in the way, and things take longer than anticipated.

Quick fixes and fad diets that claim to work super fast usually don’t work, and even if you get temporary results, it’s so easy to fall back into your old routines and gain weight back. Slow and steady has worked well for me, even if it was a lot slower than I would have liked. I don’t do well with crazy restrictions or a lot of change at once, so it was literally me just slightly, ever so slightly turning my ship a little at a time until I got on the right course. I’m still not finished or where I want to be, but this is the first time I have really seen tangible results that surprised me since having Emma Kate.

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Don’t give up. Keep going. I know it’s hard. I know some days you go backwards. It’s ok. Small changes add up to big results. You can do this.

QOTD: Have you ever lost anything when moving? Have you ever been surprised by a small victory like mine?

May 2014 Flashback Post

Periodically I like to take a look back to see what I was doing this time last year. It’s fun to see where I was, what I was doing, and how things have changed.

The biggest thing that was going on a year about at this time was our move back up to Madison, Mississippi. It was actually a very scary and uncertain time for us. Our home in Biloxi had been on the market for over two years, and we finally got fed up and just moved anyway. Some friends of ours were gracious enough to let us rent their boathouse from them until our house sold and we were able to purchase one in Madison.

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Things haven’t exactly turned out as planned (per usual with us) but we are still hanging in there praying for certain things to unfold.

Another big and pretty obvious change is that this time last year I was pregnant with Emma Kate.

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We had our gender reveal party last May, and found out baby M was going to be a girl. We had a blast finding out together with all of our family and friends at my parents house.

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It’s still crazy to me to look back at bump shots and think our little Emma Kate was in there! Well…not so little She was quite the big girl when she joined us in the world!

Last May was definitely a hard month for my family, and I find myself looking upon more stressful times at the moment, and it is tempting to look back at last year and say “didn’t we JUST go through a hard time like this? We have to do this again?!?” But I am trying to stay at peace and remember that God is in control and that he has always always taken care of us even when things looked really bad. It’s all part of my story, and maybe it will be used to help someone else one day when I get around to writing one of my many book ideas. Smile

QOTD: What were you doing this time last year?

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?

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?

Emma Kate’s Birth Story: Part 1

We celebrated having Emma Kate for a week yesterday, so I thought it was high time to start her birth story before I forgot everything! If you don’t care about birth stories, sometimes icky medical details and the like, you may want to skip this post and any other birth story posts.

I told you all I had an induction date, but what I didn’t tell you is that it was at 39 weeks 1 day. I had kind of hinted at the fact that baby M was measuring big and I really wanted a vagnial birth and was ok with being induced, but I didn’t want to give an exact day, then I started the baby pool and REALLY didn’t want to give the date!

On the 23rd, I was super nervous all day. I had to go to the hospital for pre admissions and lab work, and I couldn’t believe I was going to be back the next day to have a baby. It was surreal and I didn’t feel like it was really happening. I was instructed to not eat or drink after midnight that night, and was worried about being hungry and weak during labor, so I stayed up until 11:00 and stuffed my face before going to bed. The bad thing about a scheduled induction is knowing the day you are going to have your baby. I slept for exactly one hour that night, and knew it was going to be bad going into the day already exhausted. We had to be at the hospital at 5:30, so I was up at 4:00 to shower and load the car. The poor dogs were so confused and I felt bad leaving them for a couple days.

I took one more belly shot for good measure, I can’t believe I looked like that just a week ago!

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We made it to the hospital, checked in, and were brought back to a room by 6:00. At 6:15, I was given my IV, and then it was time for a not so fun enema. I had never had one before, and am glad I didn’t know all it entailed ahead of time because I would have been loathing it as well. Let’s just say it was REALLY not pleasant and not a fun experience, but after it was all over, I was glad it was done with and it was one less thing to worry about for the day (or the next several days!) The nurse was so sweet and made it as easy as possible and I was bummed she about to get off her shift for the day at 7:00!

At 7:00, I was introduced to my new nurse for the day, Laura. I was so excited when I saw her! She was the nurse who helped me when I had to go into the hospital for pre term labor, and she was super sweet and told me she hoped she got to help the day I had my baby, and here she was. Huge sigh of relief, because I know having a good nurse can really change your birthing experience, well, from what I have heard of course.

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Before all the fun began

At 7:30, I was given antibiotics and Pitocin through an IV (I tested positive for group B strep). I had heard that once you get the Pitocin, you start having strong and fast contractions, so I was nervous about just how quickly things would progress as far as pain goes. (By the way, I had Bobby write down the times that things happened and I am SO glad I did because I can’t remember them all!)

At 7:40, my doctor came in to break my water. She checked me and I was already at 4 cm, so she said after she broke my water I could have an epidural whenever I wanted. I have to say, the water breaking and that last check were pretty painful, but luckily didn’t last long.

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Last selfie before baby arrives!

After all of the commotion in such a short time, there was a lot of waiting around. I had my phone and had posted that I was being induced, so I had a lot of sweet well wishes and texts to read while we waited.

Poor Bobby was freezing cold, we didn’t think about bringing him a jacket or anything to the chilly hospital, but we were able to snag him a blanket while we waited.

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I started being able to feel some contractions, like strong period cramps, They were about four minutes apart and strong enough I had to stop talking, but not strong enough that I was in a ton of pain for a long time, so very manageable. At 8:40, my mom arrived and the contractions were amping up a bit in intensity and getting closer together, but were still irregular.

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At around 9:30, I decided it was time for the epidural. I was starting to have contractions every 2-3 minutes regularly, and they were getting stronger and harder to get through. I knew all along I was going to get an epidural, so I figured at this point, no reason to be a hero if I am getting one anyway. I told the nurse I was ready and come to find out the girl in the room next to me who checked in when I did had already called for one so I was going to have to wait a few minutes.

Around this time, my nurse Laura came in with another nurse, Athena. Laura told me she was also the nurse for the girl next door and apparently she needed some special attention so she would not be able to be my nurse as well. I was SO bummed out! Laura assured me Athena was great, and she told me she would come back when it was time for me to deliver if she could. She also told me today would have been her mother’s 82nd birthday and so I had to have the baby today. I was really sad I wouldn’t have Laura, but Athena ended up being terrific. I kept telling her how nervous I was for the epidural and how my whole life I had heard horror stories about it. She told me not to worry, that is wasn’t bad, she had one three times, with her three kids. She talked me through what would happen, how I would sit, etc. so we would be ready for when the doctor came in.

This is getting lengthy so I will save the next part for next week!

QOTD: If you were induced or had a scheduled section did you sleep the night before? Did you have a good nurse when you had your baby?

Anyone ever hear epidural horror stories growing up?

Guess Where I Am?

That’s right! I’m at the hospital! I am being induced this morning and had to be here at 5:30. Please say a prayer for a healthy baby, smooth delivery, and calm nerves!

I promise to keep you updated and will post pictures when baby M arrives! I will probably post here and on Instagram first so be sure you follow my account: @HeathersLG

We decided that since last week I was already past 3 cm and baby M was super low, I was a great candidate to be induced (today I am 39 weeks one day). With the baby measuring over a week ahead and weighing nearly 7 and a half pounds over two weeks ago, my doctor felt this was the best bet for me to be able to have a vaginal delivery rather than wait for her to possibly come out at 41+ weeks and be over ten pounds and me need a c-section. Of course, as long as she is healthy I will take a c-section to get her here safety, but would like to avoid it if possible.

I can’t believe today is the day! Thank you for following along with me on my pregnancy journey, I can’t wait to see what’s in store next!

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Pregnancy Update: Week 39

Pure insanity. I cannot believe we are “here” and honestly in disbelief baby M hasn’t come yet (so is my doctor!)

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I so clearly remember being jealous of women this close to delivering when I was at the beginning feeling so sick and wondering how I was going to make it to the end of September. But, here we are! I guess because we have been talking about the baby for so long, and it always seemed so far away, it is surreal that it has snuck up on me like this.

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Symptoms: VERY very antsy! I have been super cranky and hormonal this week, I’m sure it has to do with the anxiety and uncertainty of it all. Also probably the fact that I can’t get comfortable no matter what I do. I am starting to feel “puffy” and feel truly swollen all over for the first time. Also, people asking me if I have had the baby yet make me want to jump off a cliff. I PROMISE everyone will know when it’s time!

Baby’s Size: Watermelon! Crazy.

Maternity Clothes: I still fit into 2 pairs of shorts and a handful of tops. I sleep in Bobby’s large t-shirts.

Stretch Marks: None that I can see so far

Sleep: Not so good. Not because I’m not exhausted, but restless legs plus being super uncomfortable make it hard. More recently the anticipation has made it hard. I have been trying to nap when I can.

Miss Anything: Everything. Just…everything. Haha. (Can you tell I am so ready to be done?)

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Cravings: I don’t eat much these days. I think I have lost weight.

Aversions: See above.

Looking Forward to: Getting her on the outside! Learning a new routine and a new normal.

What I’m Loving: Not feeling guilty for eating junk food, laying around the house, and taking naps. Soaking it up while I can!

Workouts: One walk, which was super uncomfortable

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Don’t get me wrong, I feel so blessed to have had a pretty uneventful pregnancy so far, and know that things will be their own version of hard once baby M is here, but now I totally see what women mean at the end when they are just ready to be done and have the baby on the outside! I am definitely nervous about delivery, anxious about being in charge of a little person, but also so so done with this body that doesn’t feel like my own. Ready for my new normal!

QOTD: Did you get super antsy at the end of your pregnancy?

Now that it’s officially “fall” do your cravings change? (this question is for anyone!)