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What the #NoExcuses Movement Means to Me at Two Months Postpartum

I’ve made it to 2 months post birth of my second baby who was born by c-section.  What a crazy whirlwind it has been.  Life is crazy enough with having a new baby and a toddler, but throw the c-section in there with making it through the demands of the holidays with a 3 week old, and yes I did have some meltdowns.

Once I got the okay from my doctor to resume all activities, including exercising, at my 4 week postpartum checkup that’s exactly what I did.  I started with some slow short running and walking.  Then I decided to do a plank and squat challenge.  No I don’t have diastasis recti either, so the planks were perfectly fine for me to do.  I was getting a little bit of exercise in when I could to help me get back to normal, and then wham! Here comes the emotional rollercoaster and some postpartum depression.

Every woman goes through a lot of emotional changes after giving birth because of all of the hormones, but it all finally caught up to me.  From the emotions and jealousy our toddler was struggling through, being overtired from my body recovering from surgery, to the demands of and disagreements with family, I just lost it.

After 2 months of having a cough, our toddler started getting her last set of molars and she has the worst time with getting teeth.  She gets all congested like she has a cold and then has at least 1 vomiting episode.  We took her to the doctor for her cough and it turns out it was from allergies.

Two days later and our 2 month old got all congested and a fever. If you have kids you know that means there is a possible ER trip with a lot of testing and a spinal tap to look forward to.  Lucky for us, her fever started to go down by the time we got to the doctor, so we just had to keep taking her temperature every couple hours to make sure it didn’t spike again.

Between the post nasal drip and the pain from the molars, our toddler had quite a few more vomiting episodes and most of them were at night. Anyone like doing laundry at 2am?

By now I was pretty much done and had a pretty rough day.  It had been almost 2 weeks since I really got in any exercise and the stresses got the best of me.  Thankfully I have an amazing husband who has a lot of patience with me.  He definitely helped me get over the hump and I’ve had some quite fun days with my toddler, baby, and husband.

So what’s this have to do with the #NoExcuses movements you see everywhere in Social Media nowadays and what’s it got to do with having a baby?

Pretty much everything.  It seems like everyone is claiming others are fat shaming or fit shaming and most of it is females over the whole idea of having no excuses to having a “perfect” body.  This is where the gray area is.  I am in the pursuit of losing the fat and finding my abs once and for all.  I have dubbed it my #questformyabs.  I post often about it on my different social media.  Most everyone is very encouraging and heck I even have people tell me I’ve inspired them to step outside of their comfort zone.  Awesome, because that’s what it’s about.

So now that I’m 2 months postpartum and have had some crazy emotions I’ve been dealing with, I can pretty much assure you that it is a positive thing and not to shame anybody.  It’s not about the “perfect” body and giving up valuable family time or letting relationships go and living in a messy house.  I participated in a Sweatpink No Excuses photo challenge up until I was overwhelmed.  Does that mean I’m a failure and I make excuses?

Nope, not at all.

I mean I could have just been moping around and keep saying I just had a cesarean I can’t do anything.  It pretty much showed me how important fitting in some exercise and me time is.  The whole #NoExcuses movement isn’t about denying other parts of your life every day.  It’s about taking that time you’d be sitting watching TV or something else and using that time.  It’s a general attitude of taking charge of a part of your life to make sure you are healthy and happy.  Which makes an impact on every other aspect of your life.  It’s knowing it’s ok if you don’t eat right a few days or you take a week off from your workouts.  It’s about knowing what is right for you and choosing to do it, even if others tell you not to or that you’re crazy.

Me wanting to run and exercise again so soon isn’t anything by a sanity saver.  Yes, I know I just had major surgery so I can’t overdo things because I will cause problems.  But if it’s for my health and happiness, then I’m going to do it. Now back to starting over on my plank and squat challenge that I also stopped doing.  Because at the time I stopped, it was what was right for me.

And thanks to a friend, I signed up for my first post baby race!  We are going to run a marathon relay team, so I’ll be running a little over 6.5 miles of a marathon with 3 other amazing ladies in 3 more weeks and I can’t wait.  While I have no idea how fast or slow I’ll be, I’m just glad I have the ability to do it and some great friends to help me get in some training before.

Did you have a hard time fitting in your good eating habits and exercising postpartum?

Enjoy Your Adventure,
Samantha

Have You Heard of MommyCon?

I got some exciting news this past week.  I was selected to become a MommyCon Sisterhood Journalist!

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So have you ever heard of MommyCon before? What is it you ask?

Well according to their website:

“MommyCon is a boutique style convention dedicated to bringing modern parents and mothers-to-be together. Our focus is on natural and organic parenting methods and timeless tidbits as we journey through parenthood together. Our seminars and workshops include; baby wearing, birth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, car seat safety, natural health and medicine, baby gear, childproofing and so much more! We end our day with amazing giveaways and each attendee gets a gift bag from our sponsors.”

Since I’m now the proud mama of 2 beautiful little girls, I’ve started learning about all things parenting.  In May they are coming to Orlando for one of their events and I decided I’d love to make a weekend out of it.  One of the best things is that you can bring your children under 16 for free with you.  They have play areas, a quiet nursing lounge, and of course all different brands there that you can try out their products and see which is right for  you.

There are even separately ticketed VIP sessions to discuss things such as baby wearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and more as they vary by event.  Their speakers vary by event also, but past speakers include Jamie Grayson of The Baby Guy NYC,  Jessica Martin-Weber of The Leaky B@@b, Bunmi Laditan of The Honest Toddler.  To find out more you can visit the MommyCon website for all the details on a specific event.

So you want to attend now, but where?

Here are the dates & locations they have scheduled, with a few more being announced soon.

February 21, 2015- Chicago
March 28th, 2015-Atlanta
April 18, 2015-Minneapolis
May 23, 2015-Orlando
August 22, 2015-Washington DC

So not only do I get to attend MommyCon and share my experience,  I’ve also got a code for $5 off your general admission ticket purchase.  Just use RUNNINGMOTHER15 to receive your discount.  This code is good for general admission only and not valid on pre-sale or VIP tickets.

Which one are you going to attend?

Enjoy Your Adventure,
Samantha

FTC Disclosure: For being a MommyCon blogger  I will receive a complimentary ticket to an event and compensation for use of the discount code provided.

 

New Year’s Giveaway from For Two Fitness

I am thrilled to partner with For Two Fitness for an amazing New Year giveaway. If you recall, I wore For Two Fitness apparel through my pregnancy with Baby #2 and they quickly became my absolutely favorite maternity fitness apparel brand.  They make such comfortable clothes to workout in that have great coverage for your growing belly.

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For Two Fitness is running a phenomenal giveaway for the New Year. Read the details below.

Happy New Year! We are so thankful to YOU — our community, customers, and friends. To express our thanks, we are hosting a huge giveaway this week in partnership with some amazing brands and our ambassadors. The Grand Prize is valued at $1000. We have phenomenal prizes, including the newest offering from BOB – a Revolution FLEX jogging stroller – plus prizes from ASICS, Ergo and Maison Drake baby boutique, and For Two Fitness – all facets of your healthy mom lifestyle are in this prize pack!

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The grand prize winner will win everything you see listed here. Prizes have been furnished by our wonderful brand partners in connection with a sponsoring ambassador (Katie from Mom’s Little Running Buddy and Melody from Will Run For Margaritas). Here are more details about the amazing products that have been generously donated for you to win and enjoy:

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Grand Prize Giveaway items:

● The New BOB Revolution FLEX single stroller

● For Two Fitness maternity athletic outfit (top and bottom of winner’s choice)

● Ergo 360 Baby Carrier furnished by Maison Drake baby boutique

● Asics Running Shoes (1 pair of the winner’s choice)

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Wow! We are thrilled to give away these amazing prizes. This contest runs from Monday, January 12th through midnight on Friday, January 16th. Visit the For Two Fitness site to enter. Be sure to follow @ForTwoFitness and our co-hosts @run4margaritas and @momslrb on Instagram in order for your entries to be valid.

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Thanks for celebrating the New Year with us! Good Luck!!

FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by For Two Fitness.  I received no compensation for this posting.

A Cesarean & the #questformyabs

I figured these two topics go hand in hand now.  I mean 4 layers of your abs get cut open to remove your baby, so it’s making things a little harder.  I had started out last year in search of my abdominal muscles. We all know that we have abdominal muscles, but it’s getting rid of that pesky fat on top that’s the problem.  Women physically tend to hold more fat stores around their abdominals for childbirth and throw having PCOS on top of that and yea, it’s tough to find them.

So I had been doing cross training and running alternate days of the week.  I had been seeing a lot of progress before finding out I was pregnant.  I decided to keep up my running and cross training until 35 weeks into my pregnancy and I am so glad I did.  It not only helped me stay in shape during the pregnancy, but I feel it’s helping speed my recovery and make me more eager to get back out there.

Fast-forward to my appointment at 39 weeks 4 days and I found out my baby was in the breech position.  This was a surprise to  me since I had been told she was head down since 32 weeks.  They scheduled me for a c-section the following Monday morning since I was already at my due date.

Commence freak-out mode.

I know a lot of women have c-sections, but I wasn’t fond of the idea of getting my abdomen cut open.  It was time to try everything I could to get her to turn.  I messaged a pregnancy & pediatric chiropractor I was introduced to through running to see if she could fit me in and started all those crazy inversion techniques.  I only had 5 days to attempt at getting my baby to turn.  I saw the chiro the next day and my pelvis was quite misaligned.  She performed something called the Webster Technique and helped to manipulate the baby to turn.  Later that night my baby was on the move, but it seemed like she kept stopping at a certain point.

Monday morning came and she still hadn’t turned, so we left for the hospital at 5:30am.  Here I am before leaving for the hospital at 40 weeks and 2 days.

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We got there at 6am to get prepped for my operation at 7am. After all my blood work, prepping, and visits from the midwife,anesthetist, anesthetist nurse, and my doctor, it was time to meet our little girl.

I’ve had surgery before, but it was very minimal compared to what was about to happen.  It’s pretty crazy that you’re awake for the whole thing and feel everything they do.  While it doesn’t hurt, it sure feels weird.  Once our little girl was out and being examined, I heard them say her weight.  I had to do a double take and ask my husband again how much she weighed.  She was 8 pounds 7 ounces!!  Our first daughter was only 6 pounds 15 ounces.  I had gained the same amount of weight this pregnancy and was about the same size, so it’s no wonder she was having such a hard time turning head down.  They had to “manipulate”, as my home visit nurse said, a lot to get her out because of her size which caused me bruising around the incision.

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After spending some time in recovery, once I could move my legs I was wheeled down to  my maternity room.  It pretty  much sucks not being able to do anything for yourself and not even get out of bed.  It was a few hours after I was given my maternity room when I was able to get up with the help of a nurse to sit in a chair.  Then back to bed again.

The next day I was allowed to use the restroom on my own. Woohoo!! The little things that excite you.  And by that night I was walking the halls.  I’m not one for sitting around all day, so this was tough for me.  I have a high pain tolerance, so I was only taking a pain pill at night before sleeping, which everyone thought I was crazy for, but I’m not big into taking medications.

Three days later and I was on the way home!  I was so excited to be out of the hospital, but still a little down that I couldn’t do much.  You can’t even lift your other children, so for having a toddler at home, that was a major struggle.  While I was doing as much as I could and walking, it still felt like I was doing a whole lot of nothing.

Before going to the hospital, I did my research on what was involved and how my recovery to working out after would go.  I mean I knew that your abdomen was sliced open, but I didn’t realize in total there would be three layers of stitches inside and my skin would be stapled or stitched closed.  My doctor chose to staple my skin closed.

Knowing recovery would be much longer than with a typical birth, I was reading up on exercising and estimated timelines.  There is a ton of post partum work out information out there, but very little for someone who has had a c section.  I’m guessing because most women don’t really feel like getting up and exercising for a few months.  Obviously you have to take it easy to not cause tearing or hemorrhaging,  but seriously, most of the exercise info I found was at 6-8 weeks once you get your doctor’s permission you can start with belly breathing and simple exercises like that.  Um, ok.  I started the belly breathing as soon as I got to my room.

My personal opinion, while yes you can cause yourself more problems with exercising, I figured it would be worse if I just sat around on the couch.  Blood flow is good to help the healing process.  After my first surgery and this c-section, I was advised to walk as soon as I could.  I just kept it slow.  The hardest part was keeping a good posture.  That went out the window really quick!

Here I am 5 weeks post cesarean.  Supposedly about 70-80% of the swelling is gone and it will take a few more months for it to 100% be gone.  At least I can see the abdominal definition, so healthy eating will be the biggest help to my #questformyabs.  Since I’m exclusively breastfeeding, I still need to make sure I am getting enough calories and nutrients for my little one too.

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I had my checkup at 4 weeks, and the doctor said I had healed so well already that I got clearance to resume all activities.  He of course advised me to take things slowly as I would have discomfort.  That was music to my ears.  I was expecting the worst of not being able to do anything for 6-8 weeks.  I went for my first run and I had a lot of discomfort right under my belly button from the bruising.  My second run went much better, but dang, having a c-section definitely took it’s toll on my breathing and endurance.  Oh well, at least I can exercise now!

On Monday I’ll be 6 weeks post partum and will start a plank and squat challenge to get me back into strengthening my abdominals.  From all my research, planks were the best exercise to help with the pregnancy and holding the weight of the baby and uterus and are also the best exercise to help regain your abdominal conditioning.  I just have to not hold it for too long.

So as of Monday, I will be resuming what I have labeled as my #questformyabs as my goal for this year since I had to give up on it last year.  While I don’t need a six pack that you see on fitness models, I just want to see the toned abdominals under the fat.  Here’s to more healthy eating, which is 80% of it, and keeping up the exercise!

How was your post partum experience and recovery with a cesarean?  Did you have any goals?

Enjoy Your Adventure,
Samantha

Pregnancy Update: Week 36

Ok, so I’m 2 days shy of 36 weeks, but close enough right?

This pregnancy has definitely taken it’s toll on me compared to my first.  With my first, I never felt pregnant or had any real symptoms.  This second pregnancy has me actually counting down the weeks until our little girl arrives.

I have been so exhausted that I haven’t kept up with much writing.  Between chasing around a 2 year old and making sure I get my workouts in, all I’ve wanted to do is sleep these past couple months.

Sadly, my workouts stopped about 3 weeks ago due to developing carpal tunnel from this pregnancy.  I have to say that I feel for anyone who has this that’s not from pregnancy.  I’m told that it should resolve itself shortly after giving birth, so I’m hoping for the best.  My running has come to an end also as of last week.  I made it through a 1 mile run and 1 mile walk, but the run did me in and left me pretty sore.  Our little one has been head down since 32 weeks and getting lower, so it’s not very comfortable anymore.  I’ll be sticking to walks until I deliver, but wishing I could run because our weather has finally cooled off by 20 degrees and it’s beautiful outside.

The carpal tunnel makes sleeping awful and pretty much doing anything during the day.  Even just opening jars hurts my wrist.  I have to wear wrist braces at night, but it’s pretty hard to wear them and play with a 2 year old all day.   On top of that, this week I’ve developed some nice nerve pain from sleeping on my side.  I am NOT a side sleeper.  I’d rather have the hip pain from side sleeping that I had during the second trimester than a pinched nerve.  Needless to say, I hope these next 4 weeks, give or take a few, go by quickly.

I’ll finally get around to a short recap on completing the Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Challenge while pregnant soon since I’m not working out every morning.

Enjoy Your Adventure,

Samantha

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