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5 Things I Learned About Fitness Post C-Section

Since having our second daughter I’ve been a little MIA and have slowly been getting back into the swing of things on the fitness front.  Having a cesarean birth really put a kink in a lot of my plans and well, life in general.  I mean I knew a cesarean was surgery, but didn’t realize how major it was.  I had surgery once before and was back at work a week later because it was laparoscopic.  As another blogger put it, “a cesarean is like being gutted”.  If you’ve never looked it up, you should because it’s a pretty intense surgery.

So having a major surgery to deliver a baby made me take a step back, a big one, that I’m not used to doing.  I’m always a go, go, go person who is pretty self sufficient.  Not even being able to vacuum my house for a month or drive a car for 2 weeks drove me crazy!  Being that my first child was born in the “normal” way, it was a huge difference having a cesarean.  Any woman who tells you it’s not that bad, either took a bunch of medication or had live in help beyond their significant other.  Both are totally fine if it works for you, but that’s not me.

Here is what I learned about my fitness journey after having a cesarean:

1)  There is NO right time to get back into your fitness routine.  This is probably the number one thing any woman into fitness asks about after having their baby.  I knew after having my normal birth that I was good to go after 4 weeks and pretty much could do everything except ride a bike for while.  Hello level 2 tear. I was curious so I asked around to some fellow running moms about their running & exercise post c-section.  The answers varied, but a lot of women said just don’t do it.  Yea, that part about them pulling your bladder out of the way during a cesarean really affects things since your pelvic floor is already weak from carrying a baby so I didn’t want to cause myself incontinence problems for the rest of my life.

I’ve also been asked by several moms about my postpartum fitness since I got the all clear at my 4 week checkup again to resume working out.  Yes, you read that right.  Four weeks after my c-section I got the okay to resume all activities including exercise.  This is the part that makes pretty much every woman mad and shouldn’t, but I heard so many women complain about their doctor’s advice. Here’s the thing though, as long as you’re incision is healing fine and you have no bleeding, they don’t know exactly how your body feels or how your insides are healed.  Yes they push around and can have a good idea, but every one is different and heals differently.  Only you know what hurts and how bad it feels to know if you should or should not be doing something.  Listen to your body.

2)  Take things SLOW.  This pretty much goes hand in hand with #1.  Once you feel comfortable exercising, you need to take it slow.  I was tired to start off between my 2 year old and a newborn and no sleep.  Also, with my body healing from major surgery that was a third blow to my sleeping abilities.  I couldn’t sleep in a bed for a couple weeks, so the little sleep I did get just sucked.  I started walking occasionally and doing simple push up and squat challenges hoping to get back into the swing of it.  Nope, that didn’t happen. I signed up to run a marathon as a relay team with some friends next.  Three months to the day, I ran 6.3 miles as my leg of the relay.  I decided to focus on run/walk intervals and not really worry about my time.  The first couple miles were pretty decent, and then halfway through it I slowed down and had to walk more.  I was then sore for the next two days around my incision site.  Lesson learned.  Do what you can because your body will tell you when you’re pushing too much, and don’t forget that it takes close to a year to be completely healed from having a cesarean.  My swelling finally went down around 5 months postpartum.


3)  Accept that it will take time to get back to where you were before.  This is my daily struggle.  Mainly just with running.  I feel good with my cross training workouts and have pretty good upper body strength, but my running just sucks!  Some ladies are able to come back after a c-section and run their pace or distance within the first few months, but for most that just isn’t the case.  At 8 months out now, I still feel so out of shape when it comes to running and I ran a back to back half marathon and 10K at 27 weeks pregnant.  I’m sure it probably doesn’t help that I’m running in the middle of one of the hottest and most humid summers we’ve had in a long time.  All the running guidelines say not to run with the weather in my area, but I have to get used to it.  It’s one of the hardest things for me to accept that I’ve got a ways to go to get back to where I was, but I’m trucking along just knowing that I got there once and I can get there again.  And be even better!!!

4)  Fitness friends are some of the best things for you & even better if they’re female and know what you are going through.  I’m fortunate that I either knew some friends or met some friends before my second pregnancy that are pretty into being healthy and exercising.  Exercise is not only great for your body physically, but in my opinion there is no drug better for you mentally.  I don’t tend to discuss things while I’m in the depths of them with people, but after the fact I can talk to anyone about them.  So to any of my friends that have run or worked out with me since having my baby: THANK YOU!!

Everyone knows that after having a baby you go through a huge hormonal change that causes mood swings, but this time I suffered from postpartum depression.  Let me tell you it is not fun, so if you know anyone who has had a baby recently, you need to make sure you respect that you may not know what they are going through.  I didn’t want to do anything even though I knew it would help me feel better.  That’s part of why I signed up with my friends to run the marathon relay.  I figured it would help give me a kick start to get back into running, but it didn’t do anything for me.  I continued with the random work out and my husband would walk with me when he could, but it wasn’t enough.  My friend started meeting me when she could to do at home workouts and I had another friend who kept pushing me to meet her to run.  I kept making excuses not to meet her.  Finally about 2 month ago, I got back into the swing of things.  I started to consistently meet my friend weekly to run and about a month ago, I started doing workout videos almost 6 days a week.  I can now say I’m back to normal. While it’s hard to “make the time” to workout, I think it’s vital to be selfish and have that me time to focus on yourself.  Now to make those 5 am wake up calls for running a regular thing. Wish me luck!

5) You are awesome!  There’s not much more to say.  Whether you’re walking or running a 7 minute mile or lifting or doing yoga, you are awesome just for fitting that in to the hectic life that you now have with a baby.  You’ll only exude that awesomeness even more with your progress from working out!

Enjoy Your Adventure,


FTC Disclosure:  This is not in any way medical advice, but my own experience.  Please consult your medical professional for any medical advice.


A Galactawhat?? An Unusual Finding

A couple months ago a friend of mine posted a photo on Facebook waiting to get a colonoscopy done.  Totally weird, but if it makes one person more aware and comfortable to get one done, than all the better.  Awareness is better than hiding from symptoms.

So here’s my story of awareness for you.

Five weeks after giving birth is when I found it.

Great, one more thing to worry about!

What was it you ask?

A lump………….in my breast.

Now realistically breast cancer is very rare in young breastfeeding mothers, but it’s still possible.

I was pretty sure it was just a clogged duct from breastfeeding and would go away in a week or so.  I mean if you’ve ever breastfed or were the significant other of someone who breastfed, than you know that breasts get pretty weird and lumpy.  Hahaha just what you wanted to know right?  Four weeks later and it was still there.  I figured it was time to go to the doctor and get a definite answer so I didn’t have to worry about it anymore.

After my examination, the doctor was pretty sure it was something called a galactocele.  Bet you’ve never heard of that before.  It’s basically a cyst that is formed in a mammary gland from the breast milk.  It is a little uncomfortable at times and you can see it in the breast.  Sorry folks, no picture this time!

Since I was exclusively breastfeeding, we decided to hold off on any radiology imaging. While typical ultrasounds and mammography are considered safe while breastfeeding, if there’s no reason for putting radiation in your breast milk  than why do it? So we decided to see if there was any change in four weeks.

Well about 2 weeks after that initial visit I got a small red spot around the location, which then turned into a large red spot.  Great! Another doctor visit the next day.  Luckily it was only mastitis, an infection in the breast tissue, and I was given a course of antibiotics.  I knew I didn’t want to wait because if you let mastitis go, you end up feeling the same as having the flu.  Not really an option with a baby and toddler in the house.

Two weeks after the mastitis, I went back for a check up and we decide to do an ultrasound since the lump was still there.

I got my ultrasound the following week and to my surprise I got to speak with the doctor in the office who was reading the radiology that day.  He confirmed it was a galactocele and showed me the imaging.  Then he told me how he had never seen these other nodules on an imaging of a galactocele before.  Leave it to me to have something so common, yet not common.   When my actual doctor called me after receiving the reports, I was told they do see these nodules around the cysts occasionally when you’ve had an infection around the galactocele.   It was basically pockets of the residual infection around the galactocele.

So now what you ask?

Now I wait.

I was given the option to do a needle aspiration.  It’s when they stick a fine needle into the cyst to drain the fluids in it.  I decided to hold off and only do that if it became extremely uncomfortable.  Besides, from what I’ve researched  it will just fill back up after being drained.

Typically after a woman finishes breastfeeding, the body will reabsorb the milk and the cyst will disappear.  The problem is that since I already had an infection related to the cyst and there was actual fluid and not just the thicker fat and proteins of the milk still in the cyst, I have the chance of it turning into an abscess.  So I have to be aware of any change in the size, shape, pain, etc. of the cyst and location.   Now I get to wait about another 8 months.  Since I’m planning on breastfeeding for at least a year, I will have to have a follow up ultrasound a couple months after I have finished. The only problem is before it will possibly reabsorb, it will most likely grow and become painful since the milk is no longer being drained from the breast.  So if the cyst does not get reabsorbed by my body, then I’ll probably have to have it surgically removed to ensure it doesn’t cause me any problems since it will still have fluid in it.

I definitely don’t want anymore unnecessary infections or surgical procedures.  The thing about removing the cyst if it doesn’t reabsorb is I’ve read that they typically remove the whole mammary gland.  Hopefully that’s not my case and my body just does it’s own thing and absorbs it.

Luckily for me my mass turned out to be something benign, but it’s definitely better to follow up than to worry.  I could have not gone to the doctor for months and just worried over what it possibly could be, but I’m glad I didn’t wait.  While it’s something I still have to deal with, at least I know it is nothing serious.

So if you have something that is making you worry, just go get it checked out!  Finding a mass is not something you want to wait out and worry over what it can be.

Enjoy Your Adventure,

FTC Disclosure: This is my personal experience.  Please consult a medical professional for any medical advice.

A Final Trip to the Pediatric Orthopedic for Some News

We’ve had a tremendous amount of stuff going on in our lives since the birth of our daughter.  Most of it on the less than fun side of life.  One thing we had not discussed with many people was our daughter’s diagnosis of hip dysplasia.  It was just one more thing on the list of trying times.

Our daughter had 2 out of 4 factors that led to her being born with a, luckily, mild case of hip dysplasia.  When we first visited the pediatric orthopedic doctor when our daughter was 5 weeks old, they told us that typically in newborns there are the “4 F’s” that are prime factors in newborn hip dysplasia.

The 4 F’s are:

  1. First Born
  2. Female
  3. Foot First (Also known as breech)
  4. Family History

So she struck out with being a female baby in the breech position.  As it was explained to us, being in the breech position holds their legs in an undesirable position since their hips are in the pelvis without having a larger area to move around in.  And what does being female have to do with it?  Well if you’re not familiar with pregnancy, we release a hormone called relaxin to help loosen our ligaments to accommodate our growing bellies and to make the widening of the pelvis non-painful.  Since this is a female hormone, a female baby is more prone to absorb this hormone therefore keeping her ligaments loose around the hip joints.

When she was born, the neonatologist heard a click in her hips and an ultrasound was done the following day.  It confirmed a mild case of developmental dysplasia of the hips.  We followed up with the orthopedic at 5 weeks.  He thought the case was very mild and would correct itself on it’s own because the joints were just immature.  When a baby is born, the femoral head is still only cartilage and has not calcified into bone yet.  The socket of the hip joint is also not fully contoured to fit the ball of the femur.  So he wanted a follow-up ultrasound in 4 weeks to confirm her bone and joint were progressing properly.

After the ultrasound 4 weeks later, the orthopedic was surprised that her hip joints had not developed enough and the femur was still sliding around in the joint.  He explained that 95% of newborn hip dysplasia problems correct themselves within the first year, but obviously it’s not something you want to test since they are a vital joint for movement.  He didn’t want to go to the point of a harness, yes they make a harness that holds their legs in a spread position so the joint develops properly.  The only thing is they are a huge pain for daily activities like changing clothes or even just a diaper.

One more ultrasound was on the calendar for 6 weeks out, but until then we had to triple diaper our daughter.  She basically had 3 diapers on most of the time to hold her legs spread apart.  It’s a really old school treatment, but they told us it works well.

At the follow up appointment for the third ultrasound, the orthopedic doctor gave us the news.

Her hips were exactly as they should be!!

Talk about a relief, because this mama is a worrier.  I try to stay calm and collected with most things but I worry and think about things pretty much nonstop.

Her hips made a large improvement in those 6 weeks just by her wearing 3 diapers.  Without getting too technical, they measure the amount of the femoral head that is above and below the midline point of the hip socket.  They do this while the leg is at rest and with the leg in a knee bent up to the chest position, called a stressed test.  They need to be around a 50/50 ratio to above and below the midline.

In this process I learned a few tidbits of information that I found pretty interesting.

  1. Since a newborn’s hips aren’t fully developed, swaddling is horrible for the hips.  Having the legs held together and normally up are bad for the development.  We were told if she wanted to be swaddled, to not wrap the blanket around her legs tightly.  But you say the swaddle is for the newborn reflex?  Well yes, but just being wrapped around her body tightly kept our daughter snug enough for comfort.
  2. Baby wearing is great for their hips, as long as you are using the right carrier.  Any carrier that holds their legs up and not in a spread “M” position is not good for them.
  3. It’s a relatively slow process for the “bones” that start as cartilage to calcify.  At 3 months, the femoral head only had a small calcified center in our daughter.
  4. There are not a lot of orthopedic doctors for children.

One less thing to worry about, although the Orthopedic doctor told us what to look for when she starts walking to ensure there is not further problems.  He highly doubted that she would have issues, but just to be proactive about knowing what to look for.

So now onto the next thing to worry about. Ha!

What concerns did you have with your newborn?

Enjoy Your Adventure,

FTC Disclosure:  This is not intended as medical advice.  This is just a recap of our personal experience.  Please consult your medical professional for any questions.

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,

Have You Heard of MommyCon?

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


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,

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.


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