I have downloaded the WordPress app and now I can have more flexibility blogging, instead of waiting for that perfect moment when Gwen is playing or napping and I have no pressing tasks. Who am I kidding – there’s always work to be done at home! I am struggling with maintaining my house and myself lately. I am making a stronger effort to find a balance while still squeezing in time for me.
In the past, Sunday’s were always my dedicated self care day. I scrubbed down with the Clarisonic, did a facial mask, painted my nails, did yoga and extra meditation and generally took it easy. Now I’m feeding Gwen every 3 hours, running errands, and I can’t remember the last time I shaved my legs. I wouldn’t trade this for anything, but it does leave me feeling frumpy and unkept.
My skin has taken a big hit. To hopefully remedy this, I’ve ordered the sampler set from Leaf Seed Berry. It consists of several facial cleansers, oils, moisturizers, and a toner. It should be in soon and I’ll give a complete review.
I am also looking for something to revitalize my hair~ it’s falling out by the handfuls and feels dry and sad.
In the meantime, I am trying to incorporate as many of my old self care activities as I can. You can’t take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself!
Although there is only one quarter left, I have recently started 1st Phorm’s Transformation Challenge. It’s a good motivator for me to kick my fitness up a notch and get my body back to (and hopefully even better than) what is was like in the past. Having had a baby, I feel like a beginner again – my body is a new canvas, ready to have changes made and be transformed into whatever I wish.
I am currently the biggest I have ever been. Prior to pregnancy, I had an entirely different body composition. I didn’t pay much mind to the scale; I would train to make my body look a certain way. I was able to lift a lot of weight for my size, and I can’t wait to get back to that. While I’m not set on a particular weight I need to reach, I know that I do need to lose about 30-40 pounds to get to that range where I like how I look.
Below are some of my favorite before and after pictures. In the before, I had had surgery that summer, then slimmed down a bit, then became obsessed with pumpkin/fall seasonal beers ( started doing more social drinking), then tried to slim down again for my wedding. After my wedding quickly came Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was working out and using supplements at this time, but my poor diet outweighed my activity level. Can’t out-train a bad diet! This picture was taken in the beginning of January for Bodybuilding.com’s 12 week challenge. I also got a coach around this time because I wanted to lose weight and eventually compete in a bikini competition. The back view after picture was in October of that year. I had lost weight from January to the summer, then maintained/gradually gained some back before I started competition prep in August. The front view was from my competition in November. I was so proud of what I had accomplished and I can’t wait for that sense of achievement again. This time, I want to not only maintain my ‘after’ picture, but improve upon it. Wish me luck!
~ This transformation took place from January 2015- November 2015.
After being away for so long, I have lots of content to write, just not always the time to sit and get to it. The most important experience I have had this summer, or even in my life, was the arrival of my daughter.
On June 24th, after walking around the summer festival in my town, I noticed I was slightly more swollen than normal. I was a little swollen the night before, but it was warm out so I didn’t think much of it. That evening, I was getting ready to leave my parents house, and figured we should check my blood pressure. I felt off and my legs were more swollen than they had ever been. Being a hypochondriac, I was scared of preeclampsia. Sure enough, my blood pressure was 159/90ish. We tested my other arm to double check and it was 149/90ish. Alarmed, I called the OB and was told to come in right away.
After arriving they did a few tests and admitted me. I was a few days past my due date, so they decided to being induction that night. I had my mom call Trenton at work and he came as soon as he could after grabbing our things from home. Eventually, after 2 rounds of internal induction meds, and nearly no progress, they began Pitocin on Sunday night. My blood pressure had never really lowered during this time, in fact it only kept getting higher. (Probably lots to do with my anxiety!) They tried everything to get my labor going: more pit, a bath, breaking my water, etc. Still no progress. At the beginning I was having contractions without feeling them, so I thought this was a good sign. By Monday my back was killing me and in desperation I asked for a c-section to just get it over with. They suggested I try an epidural first. I did, and that brought lots of relief, until it began to wear off.
It seemed like I had been in the hospital days and days by this point. I was stalled at a 7, and in immense pain. There were no breaks in my contractions. By early Tuesday morning it had been 24 hours sine breaking my water, and there were a few signs that baby was under stress. They had to use an internal fetal monitor – that really got my anxiety going. With no progress, my blood pressure continuing to rise, and a stressed baby, my doctor finally recommended a cesarean. I hurriedly agreed, ready to have this ordeal done and over with and my baby in my arms.
Prep began immediately. If I think about it, I can still feel the weird tapping in my spine from when they were placing my epidural for surgery. That ended up not working; by the time I was wheeled back I wasn’t totally numb and they began a spinal. My mom came back into the OR with me. It didn’t seem like very long before my doctor held baby up so I could see her. I was very woozy and when they asked if I wanted to hold her I said no. They briefly placed baby on my chest and told me to give her kisses. I did and she was whisked way to get cleaned up. It was then that I started feeling really ill, and I got sick several times in recovery.
Eventually I woke up in my room, surrounded by family, and got to hold and love on my little babe. Gwenyth Mae was born at 7:04 am on June 27th, 2017. She was 9.3 pounds and 21.5″ long. Perfectly healthy.
We ended up staying in the hospital for a total of 8 days. My blood pressure spiked back up and I needed to receive magnesium. The 5 days after my surgery felt like weeks. So much swelling, iv lines, pills, blood draws; I wondered if I’d ever be well enough to leave.I was released to go home on July 2nd, almost a week after Gwen was born.
My birth experience was almost everything I did not want. I was going to have a medication free natural birth, and be in and out of the hospital. No epidural, no induction, and definitely no c-section! I wasn’t going to have any problems nursing because I was dedicated to not giving my baby formula. I was going to bounce back from the whole process quickly. Of course I knew all these things were possibilities, but I had prepared for months with tons of exercises, research, positive affirmations and meditations.
In the end, I did get what I wanted most – a perfectly healthy baby and the fact that we both left the hospital alive. What more could you really want than that? I would do it all again for her.
This is the first of several posts about items I have picked up for my baby that I want to share. After I found out I was pregnant, I almost immediately began a registry and started scouring the internet for the best goods for Little G.
Cute swaddles were one of the top items on my list of things to buy. I quickly found Little Unicorn and I found that they had an abundance of printed swaddles in several different fabric options. I fell in love with the Summer Poppy print Little Unicorn sells – I knew I had to have it if Little G was a girl! I didn’t want her accessories to be limited to the oh so common baby pink, so red/poppies became a theme for things I would purchase. I also adore their Blue Windflower, Watercolor Rose, and fruit prints – I plan on ordering swaddles and other items in those prints as well. I’m so excited to use this swaddle with my baby girl!
I discovered Loved By Sophia Claire on Instagram. I like how delicate their headbands are; I was never a big fan of the massive headbands that were very trendy a few years ago. The Dainty Suede Bow Headbands are just the right amount of decoration for a tiny little head. Sometimes simple is the best way to go! I ordered headbands in Heart Throb and Copper Penny, and I also have the matching leather pacifier clips. I think Heart Throb is going to look so cute paired with the Summer Poppy swaddle. The Copper Penny headband is a perfect color to accessorize any outfit. Loved By Sophia Claire offers a wide range of bow colors, and the nylon band allows it to fit for several years – I think G will have quite the collection!
If you are expecting a baby or know someone who is, check out these two shops! I couldn’t be more happy with these items!
“The greatest adventure is what lies ahead. Today and tomorrow are yet to be said. The chances, the changes are all yours to make. The mold of your life is in your hands to break.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
This blog is the beginning of a new adventure. I pride myself on trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone, and yet I have never publicly published a blog post. This will be an exciting first for me. I plan to use this platform to share information and hopefully inspire someone else to go after life and enjoy it.