Fit’n Fab Friday – 3 Weeks Postpartum

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Happy Friday, Everyone!

Phew, what a week! ¬†ūüôā ¬†I have a few blog posts in the works that should post next week, but I just never had a free moment to edit them up to this point. ¬†She’s okay now, but we had a scare with Kaitlyn on Sunday (I’ll blog more about that next week). ¬†And then it was the first week that Nate had to work both the morning¬†and¬†afternoon shift at work, so I’m still definitely trying to find my footing when it comes to taking care of a newborn and a high-energy toddler.

BUT I wanted to get my first, official Fit’n Fab Friday post up today. ¬†ūüôā


Weeks Since Baby Delivery Via C-Section –¬†Three weeks postpartum as of yesterday!

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Exercise –¬†So for the first two weeks, I didn’t do a thing; because I didn’t have clearance from my doctor. ¬†My main focus was healing, bonding with baby Kaitlyn, pain management, and just stretching my muscles by hobbling around the house. The light movement definitely helped with pain management and the healing process (although I may have overdone it once or twice).

I was cleared to take tiny walks after week 2, although my doctor warned me to listen to my body. ¬†And unfortunately, I did bleed pretty heavy¬†and¬†had some serious pain when I tried walking up the street. ¬†So up until the past couple of days, I still haven’t been able to do much. ¬†(I definitely think my C-section recovery was slower this time around than last time). ¬†BUT over the past couple of days, I have gone on short walks with Brady and Kaitlyyn. ¬†(I’m talking SHORT walks that are limited to a quarter of a mile. ¬†But again, I tend to bleed heavy when I do too much; so I have to really just listen to my body).

Still, going for short walks has been really helpful¬†mentally,¬†even if it hasn’t really hit the exercise category yet. ¬†Just being outside in the fresh air feels amazing!

Exercise Goals – ¬†This week, I’d like to walk around the neighborhood and to hit half a mile. ¬†I’ll still keep it slow and listen to my body though.

Current Goals –¬†So I’ve honestly had no goals up to this point. ¬†I wanted to cut myself some slack in the beginning and to be able to just focus on healing, breastfeeding, bonding, and being the mom of two. ¬†Going into this new week, I’ve decided to start using My Fitness Pal 4-5 days a week. ¬†I’ve used this app in the past, and it has been really beneficial in helping me eat mindfully. ¬†(I’m definitely guilty of drinking a lot of my calories, so I’m hoping it will motivate me to reach for water instead).

Weight Loss –¬†Just by delivering Kaitlyn and breastfeeding, I lost 32 of the 50 pounds I gained during this pregnancy. ¬†It probably would have been more had I not been eating so much. ¬† ūüėČ ¬†BUT when my milk first comes in to breastfeed, I am RAVENOUS! ¬†And filling up on healthy foods (and the occasional treat) definitely helps with milk supply, so I just let myself eat whatever and whenever I needed to. ¬†Now that I’m hitting week 3, my appetite is settling down quite a bit. ¬†ūüôā ¬† Finally!

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I’ve still got a tiny bump thanks to my deflating belly and extra skin. ¬†(A repeat C-section, my age, and the fact that I didn’t work out during my pregnancy are definitely making it a bit harder to bounce back this time around. ¬†But slow and steady wins the race!).

I keep reminding myself – as I mentioned in my last post – that it took 9 months to grow this belly. ¬†AND I keep reminding myself that my body will never be quite the same as before… ¬†And that is not only okay, it’s beautiful. ¬†I have two precious babies to show for it. ¬†I am not a cookie cutter that needs to fit a specific mold. ¬†This current shape is already beautiful, and I should be confident in wearing it!

Although I’m excited to lose the baby weight and to tone my muscles, I AM going to embrace my mom body with confidence!!

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Clothes – ¬†¬†My maternity tops are WAY too big, so I’ve put those in storage. ¬†But many of my pre-maternity shirts are too fitted and tight… ¬†So I have a really limited wardrobe of loose tops that fit me right now, and I’m doing my best to make them work. ¬†ūüôā ¬†As for pants, I’m still rocking maternity jeans and yoga pants. ¬†They’re getting loose, but they still do fit. ¬†And they’re just more gentle and comfy on my incision.

Final Thoughts –¬†I feel pretty good mentally and physically today! ¬†I feel like for the first two weeks, I let myself feel frustrated; because my belly took longer to go down this time. ¬†But I’m feeling stronger and a bit healthier now that I’m healing, and that’s helping me keep a positive outlook on things. ¬†Life is really good!! ¬†ūüôā

 

Feeling Fit’n Fab After Pregnancy

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Over the past 10+ years, when it comes to weight, I’ve rarely stepped onto a scale or focused on numbers. ¬†Quite frankly, I’ve already been there and done that. ¬†For me, there’s definitely freedom in letting go of diets and restrictive calorie counting and just allowing yourself to eat mindfully (eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re satisfied). ¬†I’ve found that it’s freeing mentally but also physically too. ¬†Our bodies really do know what weight is healthiest for us, as long as we practice the self-control to ‘listen’ to them.

That being said, over the past couple of years, I allowed myself to stress eat a bit (okay, sometimes a lot), and my commitment to exercising fell by the roadside (especially after becoming a mom).  This resulted in my starting out this pregnancy a good 20 pounds heavier than my usual, healthy weight.

 

That, coupled with my lack of exercise during this pregnancy, could definitely make it a bit tougher to bounce back this time around.

 

When it comes to exercise, I’m severely restricted for the next six weeks, because of the C-section. ¬†I probably won’t be cleared to run for a few months after that… ¬†And that has been frustrating for me, especially since I’m rearing to start working out NOW. ¬†But I can get overwhelmed by the restrictions, or I can embrace this moment as a quiet time to heal and to bond with my baby.

I’m definitely doing my absolute best to chose a positive outlook and to give myself time. ¬†It took 9 months to grow a baby and to put on this weight. ¬†I can definitely give myself months to lose that weight in a healthy way! ¬†I just keep reminding myself that this is my starting point. ¬†I’m at my heaviest weight; but if I eat right and begin exercising when I’m cleared to, I will lose the extra weight. ¬†I will put on muscle and feel stronger and leaner.

I really need to see this as part of my journey.  My weight does tell a story and much of it is because I grew a beautiful, precious life inside of me.  I have the rest of my life to lose the weight and tone my body.  Right now, the soft belly that still makes me look pregnant, the thicker thighs, and the softer arms are all because of an immeasurable blessing that God sent me.

I need to cut myself some slack already! ¬†ūüôā

So here’s the plan… ¬†I want to take back my health back over this next year by eating right and beginning a consistent workout routine. ¬†I don’t want to obsess about numbers on a scale or restrictive eating! ¬†I’m going to practice everything-in-moderation and try to fit in some workouts during my busy weeks!

I plan to write Fit’n Fab posts on Fridays , if possible, to share my struggles AND – most importantly – my achievements. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I honestly won’t be focused on the numbers as much as I’ll be focusing on exercise milestones and ‘how I feel’ victories.

I’m really excited to get back into shape, even if I’m going to have to do this slowly (because of the healing process). ¬†And I’m excited to start running, hiking, and just having fun with my workouts in the upcoming months. ¬†In the end, this really is about feeling confident due to healthy eating and exercising.

Slow and steady wins the race. ¬†And even if it’s going to be slow at first, I’m on my way! ¬†ūüôā

Help, I Need Somebody!

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Rolling with the punches has never really been my strength, and I’d be the first to admit that I like all my ‘t’s crossed and my ducks in a row. ¬†I like my routines and schedules to be orderly, punctual, and well-thought-out. ¬†(And thanks to my Type A, planner personality, I like sufficient time to eagerly anticipate – or dread – an upcoming event). ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Of course, life rarely works out that way, so I have learned to embrace curve balls a bit more and to see the humor in unplanned (and less than pleasant) situations.

Or, well, I’ve gotten better at it anyway… ¬†No one’s perfect, after all.

But especially as a mom, I’ve had to be a bit more flexible with my expectations.

Like we¬†will¬†be fifteen minutes late to every doctor’s appointment. ¬†(The secretary doesn’t even bother scolding us over it anymore. ¬†She and I both very well know that I’ll just apologize earnestly… and then be late again the following week). ¬†Dirty dishes will always be out of control in my kitchen, seemingly growing out of the sink and cascading onto the countertop. ¬†I will never be caught up on laundry. ¬†And I will have countless days during which I use a hat to cover my exhausted eyes, lack of makeup, and hair gone-wild.

(On the really bad days, I see just how far I can get away with pulling down the hat over my face. ¬†I call it my Mommy Gangsta look, and I fully expect it to become ‘a fashion trend’ with other mom). ¬†

It (a.k.a. ‘life’) is a lot to keep up with, especially now in particular. ¬†There’s breastfeeding every two hours (sometimes more frequently). ¬†There’s keeping a very energetic, stubborn two-year-old alive. ¬†There’s keeping our two cats and newborn alive when they come into contact with my very energetic, stubborn two-year-old. ¬†There’s recovering from a C-section. ¬†And there’s just life in general (from prepping meals, to tidying the house, to keeping up with laundry, to showering on occasion…).

It’s a LOT.

It’d be a lot anyway, but having physical restrictions right now (because of the surgery) definitely makes things more complicated. ¬†For three weeks, I can’t lift over 10 pounds, climb stairs, drive a car, or walk distance. ¬†And unfortunately, Nate was only given one week of unpaid, paternity leave, which he broke into two weeks of half days. ¬†Suddenly, I’m having to depend on others to do my grocery shopping, help with meals, babysit my toddler, etc.

And I realized very soon into my recovery that it’s not always easy for me to accept help from others.¬† I’m quite comfortable being the one cooking meals for others… Or running errands for others…¬†¬† But when it’s time for me to accept help, I sometimes get uncomfortable.

I realize how silly it might sound.¬† But there HAS to be other women out there like me who totally ‘get’ what I’m saying right now.¬† ūüôā¬†

To find myself unable to tend to my own household definitely left me humbled.¬† I’ve needed Nate’s help with absolutely everything.¬† And since he works every afternoon, I’ve relied on my mom to help with Brady during the afternoons.¬† (Taking care of a toddler AND a newborn while recovering from a C-section would have just been too much physically as well as mentally)!¬† I’ve needed assistance with meals.¬† With laundry.¬† With a ton of simple things.

Like “Hey, I forgot to brush my teeth… Can you run upstairs and grab my toothbrush for me?”

Or, “Hmmm, this toddler stinks.¬† Can you give him a bath for me?”

And even, “I’m SO sorry to wake you up, but I’m really thirsty.¬† Can you run downstairs and get me a glass of water?”

For someone as independent as myself, it can be shocking to need so much assistance. ¬†It’s uncomfortable, and unfamiliar, and humbling.¬† It’s like I felt this need to prove to myself – once again – that I was perfectly capable of taking care of things on my own.

After all, no one really likes to say, “Hey, I need help.”

But the thing is that we really are stronger together.¬† And sometimes it’s okay to not be okay…¬† Just as we should celebrate and mourn together, we also should be willing to lift each other up when the other isn’t able to stand alone.¬† We really can’t expect to make it through life on our own, especially when the hard times come.¬† Sometimes we need to be willing to share our burdens with the able shoulders and arms of those who are willing to walk our journey with us.

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.¬† In fact, it often takes strength to admit you can’t juggle it all.

I know that I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude towards Nate for all that he has juggled over these past two weeks.  And my emotional and physical recovery would have been much harder had my mom not taken Brady every afternoon for a few hours.  And the meals and snacks that family and friends have dropped off for us have been life-savers during my busy days.

We really do need to be open and accept help.¬† To admit to close family and friends when we’re struggling and need prayer. ¬†To be willing to say “Okay” when others offer to provide assistance.

Because even if I’m ALL for independence, there’s also no shame at all in saying, “Help! I need someone.”¬† ūüôā

Mom To Two

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There I was, stepping out of the shower just days before delivering baby #2, when my toddler innocently rounded the corner and stepped into the bathroom. ¬†(Gosh, I need to put bells on this kid. ¬†He’s as stealthy and quiet as a ninja…). ¬†I quickly wrapped my towel around as much of me as possible, which – to be quite honest – wasn’t much at this point. ¬†I might as well have used a dinner napkin to cover a few key areas. ¬†(Note to any of my preggo readers: ¬†by the end of your pregnancy, you’ll want to invest in a cute beach towel. ¬†Or maybe a soft table cloth… ¬†Nothing else is big enough).

“Hey, Big Guy,” I said nonchalantly, looking past him, hoping that Nate was right there to help scoop him away. ¬†No such luck. ¬†My belly – resembling an over-inflated beach ball – was sticking out in all its glory for my toddler to scrutinize.

Brady paused a moment, looked at the belly bump (which was more of a ‘belly planet’ at this point)¬†and then burst into laughter. ¬†Like full-blown, I’m-about-to-fall-down hysterics.

“Mama’s belly!” ¬†he gasped. ¬†“Mama’s belly BIG!!!”

“Yes, well, there’s a baby in there,” I defended myself, quickly grabbing for the tank top on the bathroom counter.

More laughter. ¬†He’s bending over and grasping his belly at this point.

 

“NATE!!!!” I called. ¬†“Nate, you need to come get Brady, please!”

Kick me when I’m down, little boy. ¬†Kick me when I’m down. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†

Being a mom is TOUGH. ¬†There’s the need for endless patience. ¬†The lack of sleep, privacy, and sanity. ¬†The need to be on top of absolutely everything even though you have energy for absolutely nothing. ¬†And just when you feel as though you’re running on empty, you have to fill into the life of a child, giving them comfort, encouragement, and love.

Oh, and don’t expect any vacations or sick days! ¬†You’re on call 24/7 for the rest of your life. ¬†Because even on the rare occasion that you do get to out without them, you’ll be on duty… constantly checking your phone for updates and worrying about how they’re doing without you there.

Pretty much the only thing tougher than being a mom is being a¬†pregnant¬†mom. ¬†The hormones… ¬†The exhaustion… ¬† The lack of mobility… ¬†The inability to fit through tunnels at the playground… ¬†(That¬†was a tragic afternoon for my little guy).

When you’re pregnant AND trying to care for a little human, everything is suddenly WAY more complicated than before.

Towards the end of this pregnancy, I started to have serious doubts as to just how wise our decision to have another child really was. ¬†Could I handle two? ¬†Could I handle raising this amazing – but always rambunctious – toddler AND start over with a newborn… at the same time?

I know, I know, it’s not like I’m the first woman to decide to have a second child. ¬†I realize that women have been popping out multiple babies for hundreds of years. ¬†And they’ve all somehow survived adding another child to the mix

But quite frankly, I wasn’t all that sure Nate and I would survive.

I was exhausted beyond belief.  Trying to figure out how to patiently guide, discipline, and love a very stubborn, strong-willed two-year-old.  And my house was already looking like a crime scene.

I felt as though I had reached my breaking point and now we were going to add sleepless nights, constant breastfeeding sessions, post-partum hormones, and – well – a newborn to our already exhausted lives. ¬†It kind of filled me with a sort of panic. ¬†I don’t know if I can do this…

But flash forward nearly two weeks after the arrival of our beautiful Kaitlyn, and we ARE surviving. ¬†In fact, we’re thriving. ¬†I can honestly say that I’ve never known such joy and happiness. ¬†It’s a “my cup runneth over” kind of feeling that leaves me thanking God multiple times throughout the day for blessing us this much.

The C-section recovery has been going really well… ¬†I still have some pretty sharp pains, because I overdo it almost every day. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†But I can’t complain, as there haven’t been any complications.

As for Brady, he is adjusting so incredibly well. ¬†He has his moments, but – for the most part – he is just in love with his baby sister. ¬†And Nate and I? ¬†We haven’t slept in days, and we’re tired and¬†always¬†busy.

But we are beyond happy. ¬†Our family feels complete, and – although it’s only been one and a half weeks – I almost can’t imagine life without Kaitlyn now. ¬†It’s just right having her here, like someone was missing before she arrived.

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The mom life… ¬†It really is the toughest job out there. ¬†And sometimes (like when your toddler laughs hysterically at your over-sized belly) it’s a bit humiliating too. ¬†But gosh, I wouldn’t trade it for any other job out there. ¬†It is just the BEST.

And I am absolutely LOVING being the mom to two!

 

Kaitlyn’s Birth Story

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I had always only seen the positive in having a scheduled delivery, mainly because my Type-A personality doesn’t do well with unplanned surprises.¬† I like to be prepared and on top of things.¬† So to know exactly when I needed childcare for my toddler and time off from work for the hubby?¬† It only seemed like it could be a win-win situation.

But here’s the thing about knowing the exact day and time…¬† You suddenly can count down the days.¬† The hours.¬† The minutes.¬† And the day before, you know that you’re going to either be in labor or in surgery the following day.¬† And that, my friends, gives a mom just a bit too much time to think.

Last Wednesday, the day before my scheduled C-section, I kept trying to remind myself that the C-section wasn’t just any ol’ surgery.¬† It was the way that I would delivery my baby girl. And it’s not like I hadn’t already been through one (even if my last hadn’t been planned).¬† But still, having that hang over my head and just knowing that – despite how common it is – it’s major surgery?¬† I was definitely starting to feel the nerves!

My surgery was scheduled for 7:30am on Thursday, May 4th; and we had to be at the hospital two hours early for the prep / lab work.  So my mom arrived at our house for 5am (to watch our then-sleeping toddler), and Nate and I made the drive to the hospital.

The weather was beautiful…¬† Crisp and cool with a gorgeous pink and orange sunrise. ¬†¬†It was pretty surreal that we’d be able to meet our Kaitlyn in just a few hours!

When we arrived at the Labor and Delivery Floor in the hospital, we were led to the surgery, recovery room.  The nurse had me wipe down with an antiseptic wipe before donning a lovely hospital gown.  I had blood drawn and then was hooked up to IV fluids for about an hour.  I kept asking Nate for the time, and the moment of surgery just kept inching closer.

I honestly could feel myself getting more and more nervous about the c-section.¬† I’d gone through it before, so I knew what to expect.¬† And somehow that was making things much harder this time around.¬† (It was completely different than my experience with Brady.¬† I had felt so mentally prepared and confident for his delivery.¬† Knowing the date ahead of time – and being so exhausted and sick throughout the pregnancy – really had played mind games with me. ¬†Also, to be honest, just being a mom already put a new feeling of pressure on me. ¬†I kept thinking, “Nothing can go wrong… ¬†Brady needs his mamma. ¬†Nothing can go wrong, because he really needs me.” ¬†It’s not a fun place to be mentally, especially when you’re just minutes away from surgery).

Finally it was time.¬† I was unhooked from the IV and helped out of bed, so that I could walk to the surgery room.¬† Nate, meanwhile, stayed behind to put on scrubs. ¬†(He loved that part just a bit too much…). ¬†ūüėČ

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One of the things I’d been worried about was whether or not I’d feel the long needle of the spinal going into my back.¬† (For my last C-section, I’d just had over 9 hours of labor contractions, so I was already in enough pain that I hadn’t felt a thing from the shot). ¬†I was helped onto the metal table and was instructed to curl forward over my belly, so that they could numb my back with some tiny shots.¬† Those just pinched a tad, so I honestly didn’t feel the anesthesia go in at all.¬† I was really relieved!

But the rest of the C-section wasn’t quite so calming…

With C-sections, the anesthesia hits quickly and numbs you from the upper chest down.¬† With that numbness comes the sensation of not being able to breathe.¬† It happened during my C-section with Brady, but I had been warned about it so I was able to focus on the fact that I could breathe (even though the feeling wasn’t there).¬† This time around, the sense of not being able to breathe was much more intense.¬† I kept trying to take deep breaths to assure myself that I was getting oxygen, but breathing ¬†was getting much more difficult (...in my mind.¬† In reality, I was breathing just fine).

And since I was just getting over a chest cold, I could suddenly feel my lungs and throat get thick with phlegm.¬† But I couldn’t cough.¬† Try as I might, the numbness in my chest had made it impossible for me to cough, so I felt like I was starting to drown.

I also had an intense sensation of exhaustion and realized that I almost couldn’t keep my eyes open.¬†¬† I felt this intense sleepiness beckoning me to go to sleep; but I also had this sudden fear that if I fell asleep, I wouldn’t wake up.¬† I can’t explain it very well in words except to say that it was terrifying.¬† So I kept wiggling my fingers or stretching my arms, willing myself to realize that I was alive and that the doctors on the other side of the curtain were still talking in calm voices.

When Nate was allowed to enter the operating room, I was shaking really bad; and I can only imagine how much fear was racing behind my wide-open eyes.¬† He sat down on a stool next to me and instantly started to rub my hand, saying, “How are you doing, Babe?¬† You’re doing SO good!¬† I love you so much!!”

Honestly, I calmed down a ton once he was in there with me, as I had known I would.¬† Feeling his warm hand covering mine…¬† Focusing on the stroke of his thumb on my arm…¬† Listening to his calm voice.¬† My racing heart definitely slowed down, and I was able to calm myself mentally.

The surgery itself is honestly very quick (although in the moment, it can feel like a lifetime). ¬†There’s absolutely no pain, but there is some pretty intesnse tugging going on. ¬†And because Kaitlyn was so far up, a doctor literally had to lean into my chest to help push her down. ¬†I could see his shadow on the other side of the curtain, and the pressure of his body on mine just made it that much harder to breathe.

And THEN…¬† Then I heard the doctor say, “There she is.¬† Oh, she’s beautiful!”¬† And I heard the sweetest, high-pitched cry call out.¬† And suddenly there were tears running down my face, and I was struggling to hold back sobs of pure joy and love and happiness.

The nurses quickly weighed her, cleaned her up a bit, and did the measurements.  (I really wish they had waited to do all that until I had been able to hold her, like they did with Brady.  Waiting to feel her on my chest and to really see her seemed like an eternity)!  But soon, she was placed Рcrying Рon my chest; and I was able to look into the precious face of my baby girl.

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THAT is when it all becomes worth it.¬† It’s instant.¬† The whirlwind of emotions that include the fiercest of loves and the deepest of joys.¬† Suddenly nothing else matters.¬† Suddenly you forget the uncomfortable moments during pregnancy.¬† You let go of the body image fears.¬† You’d go through that C-section all over again, from start to finish.

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It’s ALL worth it.

A nurse was assigned to watch over me for two hours after the surgery just to make sure that there weren’t any complications.¬† I was hooked up to monitors and also had to wear ‘boots’ on my legs that continuously compressed and released.¬† (Those are to help ward off blood clots in your legs).¬† I’d wear those until the following morning, as I wasn’t allowed to take them off until I was able to walk a bit.¬† During that time, I was allowed to nurse Kaitlyn, and she latched / fed like a champion!

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Bit by bit, the feeling returned to my toes.¬† And man, did feeling return everywhere else too.¬† I’ve never been SO itchy in my life!¬† Apparently that can be a side effect of the anesthesia , and I literally spent the rest of the day scratching at my face, chest, arms, and legs.¬† (But I was relieved that I hadn’t thrown up – as I usually do after having anesthesia- so I didn’t complain about the itching for a moment)!

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I was honestly so happy that I kind of just laughed at how much I was scratching at myself.  To have the C-section behind me and my baby in my arms filled me with such happiness that I was possibility giddy!

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After several hours, we were wheeled to our room where we’d spend the next few days, and I have to say that we really lucked out this time.¬† The room was really large AND there was an actual bed for Nate to sleep on (instead of the pull-out cot that he tried to sleep on last time). ¬†For the remainder of the day, I rested in bed and snuggled my baby girl.

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There is nothing more priceless or precious than that.

And NOW, our little family is complete… and our hearts are FULL!

 

Welcome Home, Little One!

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Our beautiful Kaitlyn Marie was born on May 4th at 8:07 am, weighing 9lb 8 oz. ¬†Our hearts couldn’t be more full! ¬†Mommy and baby are both doing very well! ¬†ūüôā

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One More Sleep ‘Till Baby

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This is it… ¬†It’s here! ¬†Tomorrow morning at 5am, Nate and I are going to hop into our car, drive to the hospital, and get prepped for surgery. ¬†(Well, I’ll be getting prepped for surgery, and Nate will be doing the driving. ¬†But still, the entire experience is a group effort, because we need each other to get through it).

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Planned C-Sections are definitely a bit of a mental game, because you¬†know¬†it’s coming. ¬†Today would have been a long day had I not focused on keeping busy. ¬†I dusted…tidied…organized… ¬†I basically finished all the last-minute things that I possibly could. ¬†(My parents are staying at our house for the next 4 nights to watch Brady, so I wanted it as clean as possible for them. ¬†And besides, who wants to come home from the hospital to a messy house? ¬†Cleaning was a win-win for all parties involved).

But don’t worry, I rested too. ¬†Nate took Brady out for a fun afternoon so that I could take a bath and rest my body a bit. ¬†One of my biggest fears was going into surgery feeling too exhausted, so it was important to me to get some rest today.

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I’d say that I can’t believe it’s here, but – at the same time – this was a very long pregnancy. ¬†I’m SO ready for tomorrow to come. ¬†And SO ready to meet Kaitlyn.

This is it, my friends! ¬†We’re going to meet our beautiful, baby girl in the morning!

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Your prayers are most definitely welcomed!!! ¬†ūüôā

 

 

 

A Fun Day for the Brother-to-Be!

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Since I’ve had so many other symptoms this pregnancy, I was¬†really¬†hoping to avoid a pregnancy migraine this time around; but I had no such luck. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†I had a really bad one the other night, and – since I’m preggo – I was only allowed to take the edge off with Tylenol. ¬†This is basically the equivalent of chopping off your finger and covering it with a bandaid.

You’re pretty sure that it’s not doing anything, but¬†something¬†is better than nothing!

I had my first-ever migraine during my pregnancy with Brady and haven’t had one again… until now. ¬†So apparently it’s just a thing with me. ¬†I need to pay my dues and have a pregnancy migraine before my I get to meet my baby. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†But I really can’t complain if I only get them once each pregnancy. ¬†My mom has always gotten them a lot, and they are just NO joke!!

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I’m not specifically sure what caused the nasty headache, although I’m slightly suspicious that maybe I overdid it yesterday. ¬†Yesterday was the last weekend that Brady will be an only child (WHAT?!?), and so I was¬†really¬†determined to spoil him as much as possible. ¬†I honestly haven’t been able to do much with him as of late, because I’ve almost been on a self-imposed, bed rest. ¬†I just haven’t been feeling well, and I’ve been trying to listen to my body. ¬†And, let me tell you, my body has been screaming at me to rest. ¬†Everything feels heavy or hurts… ¬†And the never-ending contractions have been no joke. ¬†So Nate has been the fun parent, and I’ve kind of been the parent who hobbles around cooking meals and who snuggles during cartoons before bed.

(I have major mommy guilt over that, but Nate keeps reminding me that this is just a phase. ¬†I will get my energy and mobility back, but – right now – I need to focus on my health and on Kaitlyn’s health).

So yesterday, I decided to ignore my body a bit and to just focus on making Brady feel special by having a Brother-to-Be Fun Day. ¬†Although I definitely overdid it (especially in the crazy heat), I don’t regret it for one second. ¬†It was totally worth it to see Brady laughing and smiling SO much!

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First thing in the morning, we brought Brady to a kid’s play place that I’d been eyeing for awhile. ¬†I’d been warned that it gets incredibly busy, but – GASP – we had the¬†entire¬†place to ourselves for the near 2 hours that we were there. ¬†Seriously, no one else showed up! ¬†Brady had full run of the huge, open space; and he danced, ran, slid, crawled, and jumped to his heart’s content. ¬†I should add that Nate did all those things too… ¬†Ha, ha. ¬†It was amazing!!

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After Brady’s nap and lunch (the kid was so hungry after running around that he ate 3 slices of pizza!), we decided to go out for icecream. ¬†Considering how hot the day had become, the sweet treat was very much enjoyed. ¬†(We also may have snuck in some organizing and cleaning, since we’re currently working on the basement. ¬†Brady loves running around down there, so he thinks it’s a treat. ¬†And we got a lot done, so that was a win-win for everyone).

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Then we came home and sat on the back porch and played with the water table. ¬†By then, my feet were so swollen that I couldn’t even fit into my larger-sized flip flops. ¬†Sooooo, the sitting down was very much needed. ¬†Ha, ha.

It honestly was such a fun day, and I know that Brady had a blast! ¬†I can’t believe that he’s not going to be our only child anymore. ¬†But I also can’t wait to see him interact with his little sister once she gets here! ¬†They’re going to have some fun experiences together, I just know it!!

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Preggo Journal – Last One!

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How Far Along ‚ÄstI‚Äôm 38 weeks today, which means one week until my scheduled C-section. ¬†One week! ¬†One, one, ONE!!! ¬†If I were running the Boston Marathon, I’d be sprinting up Heartbreak Hill right now, the finish line just ahead… but still one last hill to overcome. ¬†I am the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been in a pregnancy, and I feel as though I can’t move (or breathe, thanks to this chest cold). ¬†BUT the end is in sight, and I’m doing my best to keep my eye on the prize! ¬†ūüôā ¬†Nate has REALLY been stepping it up and helping me with Brady whenever he can, and that – honestly – has been¬†such¬†a huge relief for me, both physically and mentally. ¬†This mama just needed a break! ¬†I’m SO blessed to be married to such an incredible, kind man!!

Baby Name:   Kaitlyn Marie

First and Second Pregnancy, Comparison Pics:  

THEN ‚Äď ¬†(2014)

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NOW (2017) ‚Äď

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I‚Äôm Craving / Disliking: ¬†¬†Still craving fresh foods, mainly fruit… ¬†These past few weeks, I have been eating fresh, mandarin oranges as though they’re candy! ¬†Apples with peanut butter… ¬†Peanut butter and cocoa smoothies… ¬†And I’ve really been into drinking fruit punch with LOTS of ice. ¬†For sweets, I’ve kind of been obsessed with fudge swirl icecream. ¬†And I’m not really disliking anything.

Weight Gain –¬†I’ve gained 40 pounds so far… ¬†With Brady, I honestly almost gained 60 pounds. ¬†(Please keep in mind that the high amniotic fluid levels add a lot to that, as does popping out a 10.7 lb baby). ¬†ūüėČ ¬†But it looks like my weight gain this time will be a bit less, which I’m happy about. ¬†I did start off about 15 pounds heavier going into this pregnancy, so my goal was to gain less if possible. ¬†For the past two weeks, I haven’t gained anything (which is typical at the very end), so I think I’ll make that goal.

Exercise: ¬†I shaved my legs AND painted my toenails in one day. ¬†Yeah, I know, I’m totally pushing myself!

A Moment I Don‚Äôt Want to Forget: ¬†Brady still doesn’t understand what’s about to happen, but he has started kissing my belly. ¬†It’s so sweet!

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Something I Miss: ¬†Absolutely everything about pre-pregnancy life! ¬†Energy, movement, strength, patience, hormones that aren’t making me cry every two seconds. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†I hit the “I’m done” stage weeks ago, and I’m definitely more than ready to jump into life with a newborn! ¬†Pregnancy is worth it but – man – it can be really hard!!

Sleep: ¬†I haven’t had more than 4 hours of sleep a night for over a week now… ¬†The insomnia is extremely bad (as it was in the third trimester during Brady’s pregnancy too). ¬†And with Brady being sick and insisting on sleeping in our bed, I haven’t been able to use my pregnancy pillow. ¬†So when I’m not awake from insomnia, I’m being kicked by a toddler. ¬†Needless to say, I’m so tired that it hurts.

To-Do List Completions: ¬†Hospital bag is packed! I made a list of meal ideas for my mom to help her when she’s watching Brady (and now I just need to shop for some of the food). ¬†We never really did deep clean the house (because of how sick I’ve been and how busy Nate has been), but we’ve cleaned it up rather nicely. ¬† (Brady’s room, the playroom, and our walk-in closet specifically needed the organization). ¬†I have a bit left to do, but it’ll definitely get it all finished before next week.

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Purchases:¬† I bought a pair of maternity shorts just in case it warms up quickly and I’m not ready to wear my regular ones after baby. ¬†(We also bought a new TV, since Brady broke television #2. ¬†Oh little boys…). ¬†ūüôā

Maternity Clothes: ¬†All day every day! ¬†The only shirts that fit me right now (thanks to the big ol’ belly) are the T’s from Target. ¬†They’re longer and stretchier than some of the others I had purchased. ¬†I bought one in every color, and I alternate between the 5 shirts… and just change up jewelry or scarves.

Symptoms: ¬† Okay, here goes… ¬†Sciatic Nerve pain, ¬†Anemia. ¬†Polyhydramnios. ¬†Symphysis pubic dysfunction. ¬†Insomnia. ¬†Shortness of breath. ¬†Weakness. ¬†Swollen feet. ¬†Back pain. ¬†Rib pain. ¬†Extreme exhaustion.

I didn’t have most of these symptoms during my pregnancy with Brady, even up until the end. ¬†I guess Kaitlyn figured that – since this is my last pregnancy – we might as well go all out and have the full experience. ¬†Ha, ha!

Last week, my amniotic fluid levels were scary high. ¬†But thankfully, an ultrasound didn’t show any issues with Kaitlyn. ¬†(They were looking for failing kidneys, swallowing issues, or a cleft palate). ¬†So it kind of looks as though I’m just a lucky woman who has too much fluid when she gets pregnant. ¬†ūüôā ¬†This week, I had a stress test AND an ultrasound though and my fluid levels were still very high… but no longer extreme. ¬†So I’m still on a watch list, but the doctor isn’t quite as concerned.

Final thought: ¬† ¬†This pregnancy was a tough one, but it’s almost over! ¬†And then I can focus on recovery… AND on my beautiful, baby girl. ¬†I’m really going to try to focus on physical and mental rest this week in order to prepare for next week’s C-section! ¬†ūüôā

One week, one week, ONE WEEK!!!! ¬† ūüôā

Stand Under My Umbrella

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Have you ever had one of those moments during which you’re just so exhausted, frustrated, crabby, uncomfortable, strained, and overwhelmed that you’re a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode should you come across an unsuspecting person who maybe smiles a bit too cheerily at you? ¬†Yeah, me neither… ¬†Until last night.

But let me start from the beginning.

Most of my friends would probably tell you that one of my strengths is seeing the positive (or humor) in most situations, even if the circumstance may be less than ideal. ¬†But I am human, after all. ¬†And even Superman comes up short – on occasion – when faced with Kryptonite…

So my small circle of very-close friends, God bless them, have been very¬†gracious in letting me share a different side of me, as of late. ¬†I won’t say the ‘real side’ of me, because the ‘glass half full’ side of me is¬†real as well. ¬†But it’s just the really tired, I’ve-been-stretched-a -bit-too-far side of me that has come out to play these last few weeks.

This pregnancy has given me a run for my money. ¬†Although to be completely fair to baby Kaitlyn, the majority of the challenges I’ve faced over these past 9 months haven’t even been pregnancy related. ¬†There’s been a lot of sickness this winter, a broken leg for Brady which resulted in a spica cast for 5 weeks, my husband lost an aunt to cancer, and the physical toll of chasing after a toddler while pregnant (in addition to the anemia) left me feeling depleted physically.

It’s been a physically, and emotionally, exhausting nine months.

And now that I’m nearing the end, things just haven’t let up. ¬†Most recently, there has been concern about my amniotic fluid levels and large baby size. ¬†(I was just diagnosed with¬†Polyhydramnios again, and I need to go for another ultrasound and stress test on Wednesday).

Brady and I are also home sick with colds. ¬†And well, the only thing more frustrating than a bad cold in the spring is to add a sick toddler AND pregnancy to the mix. ¬†Let me tell you, I’d need LOTS of sugar to sweeten the lemonade from these lemons, my friends. ¬†I’m just tired. ¬†And, if I’m to be completely honest, I’m a tad bit cranky too, because I just don’t have time for the rest I need mentally and physically.

So yes, all this brings me to the point of wanting to explode at a bubbly, super-smiley CVS employee.

Last night, Brady woke up with a high fever, and we realized that we were out of children’s Tylenol. ¬†It was one of those moments when you stare at the medicine cabinet, close it, reopen it, then stare again, somehow hoping that a bottle will magically appear. ¬†But no, the medicine cabinet remained empty.

Not having medicine wasn’t an option, because the fever was high and Brady’s breathing (thanks to the chest cold) was too quick. ¬†We needed to get his fever down fast. ¬†So at 3:30am, I was rushing into the car and driving to a 24-7 CVS to restock our medicine cabinet.

Suddenly there I was, standing in front of the super-smiley, bearded cashier while sporting my pajamas, crazy hair, makeupless face, and a jar of Children’s Tylenol.

“Hello!” he exclaimed¬†way¬†too brightly. ¬†“How are we doing this evening?”

I felt like punching him.  How did he think I was doing?!?

Oh, I’m doing GREAT! ¬†I always go for joy rides in my pajamas at 3am to pick up children’s, fever-reducing medicine. ¬†And guess what? ¬† The crazier my hair, the more exciting the night. ¬†So as you can tell by my frizzy, curls-gone-wild, tonight has been absolutely fabulous! ¬†I mean, can’t you tell by the dark circles under my eyes just how wonderful my night has been? ¬†

Instead I replied, “Oh, good, thank you.” ¬†Paid. ¬†Left. ¬†Ran home as quickly as possible.

But I kind of pondered the incident on the drive home, and I realized just how easy it is to put on that “everything is okay” mask. ¬†I know that for me, it’s not easy to be honest when I’m hurting. ¬†Or angry. Or even afraid. ¬†I do try to be strong and joyful, because that’s what a good Christian girl does. ¬†Right?

In reality, God did put us into each other’s lives so that we don’t have to stand alone. ¬†We don’t have to celebrate alone, but we also don’t have to mourn alone. ¬†And although I’m not saying that we need to share our hearts with the bearded CVS employee at 3am (or¬†even¬†to the people following us on Facebook), we can be honest with those we hold close. ¬†With those who truly love us.

Because they¬†want¬†to know the real version of ourselves. ¬†And because sometimes we really do need to share the hard times with others, so that we don’t have to carry it alone. ¬†When we share our hearts with those who hold our trust, we now¬†have a team of encouragement, empathy, and prayer behind us.

The prayer, in particular, is very much needed when the going gets tough!

When it rains it pours sometimes, am I right?  And there are those days that no matter how hard you try to stay positive and upbeat, the constant dumping of water in your face is just enough to make you sputter and maybe even drown a bit.  But I am SO thankful right now for the friends who are holding out their umbrellas to me and reminding me that it really will all be okay!