Monday, October 17, 2016

Real Life Advice For New Moms

Being a new mom is hard! It doesn't' matter if this is your first baby or your 6th. The adjustment to adding a new life to your daily life is HARD! The lack of sleep, the being pulled in a million directions. Learning a new daily balance. Even trying to get a shower is difficult (it has been 3 days for me!) I'm a 3rd time mom and I knew this was going to happen and I accepted it. But one thing that I forgot about, but quickly remembered and trying to work out is MOM MUST COME FIRST.

It is so easy to just lose sight of the things that you need, and want to do. You have this beautiful new baby taking up every moment of your life, and that is great but...YOU NEED TO COME FIRST! I didn't do this with #1. He came first every time. I would put off going to the bathroom before I fed him and pray I didn't pee my pants in the 40 minutes he would feed. I felt guilty for him crying because I needed to take a 5 minute shower. I didn't know how to just put him in a safe place so I could cook some food, and easily choose fast foods over homemade because I just didn't want to take the time to cook. I didn't exercise because he would wake up halfway through and I would feel guilty for him crying (again) Now I know better! So my advice to moms to survive the first few months with a new baby:

(like pee! Go pee before you have to do a feeding) Yes, the baby will probably cry for the 2 minutes it takes to go pee, and that is ok. Make sure your baby is in a safe place and then go.

I am still forgetting to grab something to eat, but this is where EASY TO GRAB HEALTHY SNACKS come into place. Again, put your baby down for just a minute and make a quick sandwich so you can eat. You need to eat to feed your baby, if you are breastfeeding or pumping.

This seems like a no brainer, but it really isn't. Even after 3 kids, I am still having to force myself to hand over Elyse to take a shower. You need the time out. And it is ok to ask a neighbor to come over and hold your baby so you can get a shower. (something I should have done more of when my husband was deployed just after #1 was born!) Not going to lie though, yesterday I was spit up on 6 times, stopped changing my shirt, because that makes more laundry, had spit up in my hair so I pulled it up into a bun and just dealt with it. Shower will come later. And I just enjoyed the fact that my baby was finally sleeping and out cold!
Cleaning takes a backseat when you have a baby. Right now, my hubs and I are taking turns on who cleans the kitchen each night. One night he will clean the kitchen and put the kids to bed, the next night it is my turn. It is actually a really great idea for us! If you have to ask for help with cleaning your house. Soon the hubs is going to be going back to work full time, and my house is going to be a wreck. But one thing I won't be afraid or embarrassed to do, is ask for help when I need it. And cleaning falls in that category!
Again, cleaning needs to take a backseat. Right now, in the first few months of your new baby arriving, your house won't be spotless. It will be a mess. Dishes will pile up in the sink. Laundry will be all over your bedroom. AND IT IS OK! It is so much better for you to take a nap when your baby is napping (mine is right in the middle of the day!) So that you have the energy to take care of your new baby for the rest of the day and night.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Elyse's Birth Story: Part 2

Welcome back to Elyse's Birth story. If you missed part 1 you can VIEW IT HERE
Just minutes after she was born. So glad it was OVER AND DONE with!
We left off with my fear of being strapped down in the bed while on pitocin. So the nurse started my pitocin at 9:15 am at a level 2, which I was thankful for, and the contractions started pretty quickly and they were STRONG! If I had to rate contractions on a level of 1-10 these started at a 5! Which is where I was at, if not a little further along before they stopped. But what makes these contractions different than natural contractions is that there was no break. Natural contractions you will have a level 5 contraction, and the next one might be a level 3. Then a 6, then a 3 or 4. These were a 5 every time, and only got stronger. No let up. That was hard! 
Look at all that hair!!!
I had a hard time relaxing at the beginning of the contractions. I would tense up and say “no, no no!” but then I forced myself to relax and breath through them. I was very aware of the clock and knew that this labor was taking FOREVER and it worried me, because all I saw was the timeline that the hospital has. I was so scared of the pitocin leading to an epidural because I was too tired and couldn’t take it anymore, and then having to go in for a c-section. I had to just turn off my brain and stop thinking about that. The nurse had me labor on my side for about an hour which was AWFUL! The pain and intensity was so strong that I begged to be in any other position besides that one. She wanted the baby to be in a better position and said it was the best for us. Finally after the hour I said I wanted to lean against the back of the bed kneeling. She said as long as they could still trace her heartbeat I could, so up I went, I didn’t care if she had said no, I was going to do it anyways. Anything to get me off my side and my tailbone! I was able to be in a squat position and that helped so much. I could actually feel her at the top of the birth canal. I told the nurse I was getting close because it was feeling so full in there. She finally called the doc in and he checked me. I again, had a little lip of the cervix left (every birth this has happened and it is AWFUL!) He told me, that I could continue to labor with really strong contractions for the next few hours and still not make much progress or we can get her out now, in the next 30 minutes. Not only did I have the lip, but it felt like she was coming out sunny side up again, like the boys! Which is a harder position to push out. But that I wasn’t going to like what he was doing to me and that it was going to hurt! At that point the contractions were very intense and I was exhausted. I still never got to the point where I had to get an epidural, I just wanted her out! That was all I kept saying. “This is taking too long and I just want her out! GET HER OUT OF ME!” 
Just after she was born, she was wide awake and checking me out!
We decided to get her out at 12:20 and I started the pushing phase of my labor. The doc had me sitting back reclined. In the absolutely worst position to labor in, but there was too much of a lip for me to be able to squat and he had to do some heavy pushing of the cervix to help. This was incredibly intense. (notice how I don’t say pain. That is just a word I refuse to use associated with labor. It was intense but nothing I couldn’t handle). I did scream out as he pushed the cervix out of the way and pushed with all my might to move her down but she just kept going back up behind the cervix every time I was done. And he had to leave a couple of times because the girl next to me was also in the pushing stage! I was so concerned the whole time on pitocin about her heart rate. I kept my eye on it the whole time. Even during pushing I kept asking the nurse how her heart rate was. She would tell me that it was perfect. Holding steady between 125 and 135 bpm. PERFECT. Finally the doc said, “ok, 3 pushes and she will be out.” 3 pushes later and she still wasn’t out. The next push though, was the big one. He told me to push even harder than before and pushed down on my belly to help assist me and her head literally just POPPED out. It didn’t slowly come out like I had hoped it was, but just popped out. Then the next push, her whole body came out and they put her on my chest. 

The doc then said that the placenta was right behind her and said to push just a little. Well, my definition of a little and his is different. And I pushed too hard and the placenta burst out of me along with all the after birth stuff which shot out all over my doc. To which he exclaimed, “Well now I have to go change!” He was covered, and his shoes too! And the nurses got to work cleaning up all the stuff off the floor about 2 feet beyond the end of the bed. Payback for the discomfort he put me through I guess. 
She started out a finger sucker, but nope hasn't stuck! 
Elyse Cheyenne Allen was born at 1:01pm with a healthy set of lungs. She had the chord around her neck twice and it was knotted once but was still able to keep a good steady heartbeat the whole labor! And she didn’t come out sunny side up, she turned at some point in the birth canal but still came out with a different part of her head presenting, and not the crown of the head. She also came out in a compound position with her hand up on her head and her elbow poking out just like Collin. It was like the full gamut of how she can have things being born. And it was hard! I burst many blood vessels in my face, chest and across my back. On the plus side, I DIDN'T TEAR! My doc worked so hard to stretch out my perineum after pushing my cervix out of the way. It literally felt like he was pushing my perineum down to the floor. And because I didn't tear, and I suspect the picocin, recovery and postpartum bleeding has not been as bad as it was with both boys, and her head was 2 cm bigger than the boys and didn't mold as much in the birth canal!  (that is why her head just popped out)

I was in labor for a total of 10.5 hours. So much longer compared to my others. I never got to the point where I needed an epidural I just wanted her out! She was born with dark brown hair and a cry of a banshee! After about 30 minutes the nurses checked her temperature and noticed that she was a little cold and wasn’t getting as warm as they wanted. She was pink and doing great just a little cold. Se we did more skin to skin, and after another 15 minutes she was moved to Matt since he runs “hotter” than I do. And she warmed right up when snuggled up skin to skin with him. I had to finish the bag of pitocin before I was allowed to go to my postpartum room. And since it was on such a slow drip to begin with, it took 3 hours before I was released to the postpartum room. Over the next 6 hours they continued to monitor her temperature. We increased the temp in our postpartum room, to the point where I was pouring sweat and they brought in a personal fan for me to use while Matt held her. They did take her to the nursery for 30 minutes to put her under the heat lamp and she was fine after that. Just kept the room warmer than I wanted. Other than that, she was PERFECT! We had a hard time calming her down and she cried a lot while in the hospital. Only the nurses were able to get her to sleep in the bassinet. Other than that, Matt and I took turns holding her while the other slept. Thankfully almost 2 weeks later, we have found her sleep pattern. All it really took was for my milk to come in to knock her out! (which my milk started coming in a day and a half after I gave birth so by the last 6 hours in the hospital she was sleeping more and more content because my milk came in on both sides). 

So that’s my birth story for Elyse. Pretty exciting huh! So I have done labor with pitocin and without pain medications. I am not a super hero. I cried out quite a bit. But again, I never got to that point that I had to have pain meds. It can be done. You just have to believe in yourself, and have a resolve strong enough to endure through it. 

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bump Update: 2 Weeks Postpartum

We are now past the 2 week mark. Elyse is doing great! We have quite the schedule with her. Feed for 45-60 minutes then she is out for at least 3 hours! And at night, yeah, even better. I am getting anywhere between 4-6 hours straight. It is pretty amazing. She loves to be held and does not like to be put down at all. There is lots of screaming involved if I put her down for a little bit. So we are going back and forth between holding her throughout the day. But she is so dang cute, I can't help but hold her! 

This past week we had her professional newborn pictures taken and family photos. I got to proof them already and I can't wait to show all of you how amazing they are! They all turned out so great, even with a 2 year old who didn't want to cooperate very well.
Recovery: Recovery has been pretty easy compared to my other 2. I didn't tear so I don't have any stitches to deal with so that has been nice. I want to be done with the postpartum bleeding though. It is a pain. I am feeling pretty good though and have had a desire to exercise, but I know my body and if I push too hard then it makes the bleeding worse. So I just have to wait a little while longer before I get back into exercising. But what an amazing feeling that I actually do want to exercise.

Weight: Pre-pregnancy weight:237.7. Weight morning of birth: 264.8. Current weight this morning: 248.6. I am just 11 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. Which is amazing. But again, I am not concerned too much about my weight. I am still allowing myself to eat off my normal eating since we were having meals brought to us and meals prepared for us. Oh and craving burgers and carbs like crazy! So, I am going to have a rough time when I do go back on track.

I won't be doing these every week. I am going to transition to every month after this post so that I can write about both Elyse and my postpartum journey. Which I will be sharing more of here! Be sure to check back often to keep up with everything that is going on! 

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Dream Big: Goals

How many of you are writing down your goals every month on what you want to accomplish for the day, week or month ahead. This is VITAL to reaching your goals. I want you guys to DREAM BIG all the time. There is no goal too big for you to accomplish. It just might take a little time, or a few times to reach it.

I have had a goal to be under 200 pounds for years now. I have come so close to that goal and then something happens and then I have to keep trying again and again. But the key is, I WILL NOT GIVE UP! I WILL MAKE IT and I will be the healthiest I can be when I finally do reach that goal, only to have another goal in its place to set my sights on.
I worked so hard after I had Mason. My goal was to be under 200 pounds by the time we had our family photos. I made it to 203 and then my weight only went up from there.
DON'T GIVE UP! You are worth it. Take some time this week to think about your goals, desires, wants. We have the holidays coming up and I want to set you guys up with some amazing goals for the end of the new year. How great would it be to actually not gain weight this year during the holiday season? Well, this month in my exclusive group we are going to be doing 21 Days of Goals and Goblins! Our Halloween themed month! (I really love the Halloween themed month!) And in here we are going to do a week of focusing on our goals for the rest of the year.

The other key, is to always have goals. For me, if I finish my time frame for the goal and don't have another goal to follow I often fall off the wagon and stop trying. As is the case with these pictures. I worked so hard to lose weight, didn't make my goal, I was close but didn't make it. Then I just stopped trying. And then the weight came back on and it was so frustrating! 

If you are wanting to lose weight by the new year and are ready to take that next step, let's get you started TODAY! If you were to lose just 1 pound a week, you could lose 12 pounds by the new year! Think about it because it is totally doable and you don't have to let the holidays get you down this year! Don't know where to start or want to be part of my EXCLUSIVE SUPPORT GROUP with other ladies going through their journey just like you, EMAIL ME and let's get you set up! 
So close to my goal, but sadly, I didn't have my goals after this. My goal was to be under 200 pounds for these pictures. I didn't make it to my goal and gave up after this.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Elyse's Birth Story: Part 1

I finally have some time to sit down and write out Elyse's birth story! YAY! I never thought that I would carry her beyond 41 weeks. We thought for sure she would be born just after her due date. So when I hit 40 weeks and kept going it was a little frustrating. And when I passed 40 weeks and 5 days, the time I had Collin naturally, I was a bit disappointed. Plus my mom was here for over a week before she was born which meant less snuggle time for her since she had a flight back home at a specific time.

At my 40 week appointment, I talked to my doctor and set up our induction date incase she didn't arrive before that point. The date was set for 41 weeks exactly. My doc did strip my membranes to try to encourage labor to come naturally. I was already 3 cm dilated at that point and almost completely effaced. He was convinced that I would go that weekend. And I didn’t. I did have a few episodes of regular contractions but they would just stop after I finished exercising or after I sat down and rested. Wednesday rolled around an called the hospital. They told me  that they didn’t have any beds available for the induction because they had 4 c-sections that day. They advised me to call back around 10 to see if anything had changed. I called back and again they said that they didn’t have anything available and that they still had 4 c-sections scheduled. I pleaded with nurse saying I was 41 weeks pregnant and she said I just had to call my doctor. She did say that the next time I am scheduled that they will try to get me in since I had already been “bumped”. GRRRRR! 
I called my doc right away and told the nurse what happened. My doc was in surgery and would call me back as soon as he could. Just an hour later he called me personally and was PISSED! that I was denied my medically needed induction. He asked how soon I could get into his office so he could check me and do another “very aggressive membrane strip”. I told him 30 minutes and Matt and I were on our way. I kept telling Matt how upset my doc sounded over the phone and it wasn’t until we saw him in the office that we could actually see how upset he was. He was livid! He went to the L&D wing and talked to the head nurse. She said that they had my due date as 9/27 not 9/21 and thought it was an elective induction not a medically needed one. I had two reason why we had to get induced, 1 because I was a week over and 2 because of my placental abruption last year, they wanted my placenta to be as strong as possible to avoid a possible hemorrhage. 
Me in the middle of a "strong" contraction. Before all the fun started of course.
While in the office my doctor did an exam: I was 4cm at that point and then did an insanely aggressive strip. IT HURT! He did say, I should just break your water right now but I want you to go naturally. And this should do the trick. He also sent me home with specific instructions to do Castor Oil. EWWWWW! This stuff never worked with my others. (it kind of worked with Collin, but I didn’t drink enough of it to induce.) This time he wanted me to do the full amount. 4 oz. Not going to lie. I was scared. That stuff is gross and the after affects are HORRIBLE! I told him I was not constipated and that I was already pretty regular. He said that this is purely to self induce labor not to clean me out. So off to the store we went to get some castor oil, orange juice and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. 4 hours later it was working it’s magic and I was having my first volley of a pure laxative at work. I made sure to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. After 5 different times of it working no contractions. I knew it wouldn’t work and was just resigned that I would be in the hospital the next day for my rescheduled induction.
I had to get up at 2am for my 6th visit to the bathroom, but things felt different. I was feeling contractions by that point. I started clocking them around 2:30am. They were consistent and getting pretty strong. And they were only 9 minutes apart. I woke Matt up by 3:20 and asked him to push the contraction timer as I wanted to get into the shower and just use the hot water in there. It seemed better to me than the tub. Over the next 40 minutes my contractions went from 9 minutes apart to 3-5 minutes. I would have a big one then a couple small ones. By 4am, we decided it was time to call my doc. Granted the contractions were not as intense as they had been with Collin when I called for him, but I honestly didn’t want to be at that point of them being that intense. I was too scared to have the baby in the car. Doc asked us to meet him at the hospital between 4:30 and 5am. So I got ready, changed into my birthing dress, let my mom know we were on our way to the hospital and off we went. Still timed the contractions in the car and they were a consistent 5 minutes apart. I was feeling fine. They were a little strong but nothing to make me wish against them. When we arrived at the hospital, we went to the ER and were escorted up to the L&D wing. He asked if I wanted a wheel chair and I opted to walk. On our way to L&D we ran into my doc and he was like, “You are not contracting.” I promised him I was but they weren’t that intense but they were 3-5 minutes apart. The hospital hooked me up to the monitors, asked me the million of questions they asked and the doc looked at my scans and sure enough, I was actually contracting every 2 minutes. He did an exam and I was 5-6 cm dilated. He was like, “Ok, it’s time!” And he broke my water by 5:15am. 
My tub and sanctuary for a little while
They had to keep me on the monitors for awhile longer to get a good baseline of what was happening. I hated that. I wanted to go into the bathroom and labor on the toilet. Because I do not like the feeling of stuff gushing out and just getting everywhere, but oh well! Finally after 40 minutes they started the tub for me and said I could get in. It was my sanctuary. I had my hypnobirthing positive affirmations on a constant loop and labored in the tub for awhile. The doc and I placed bets on when the baby would arrive. I guessed by 6am, holding true to my 3.5 hours of labors from start to finish. He said 6:30. I started getting very strong contractions in the tub. Matt was in there with me and helping me through them. This was my first labor without a doula. After an hour or so I started to have pressure and a strong desire to push for a bowel movement which is a sign of baby coming out. I called the nurses in and they rushed in but before I could get out of the tub a push happened but the wrong kind. I literally had a bowel movement in the tub. I was mortified and frustrated and so upset. I thought it was the real deal but nope. I crapped in the tub. And honestly S*** happens during labor but not in the tub! COME ON BECKY!

I had to get out of the tub at that point and that is when my contractions basically stopped. 7am and I stopped contracting. Doc checked me again and I was still only at a 5-6. I think I was further along until that BM happened and my body literally closed up and stopped. They had me walk the hallways to get them started again. We just walked the halls and then would rest for a bit in the room after and use the bathroom. Since my water was broken I was still leaking as I walked and that was uncomfortable! Matt went to go get some breakfast from the cafeteria and I stole some of Matt’s breakfast since I was starving and it was the best meal I had had in forever! Against the rules of course but I didn’t care. I was starving! After an hour and a half my doc found us and said, “Let’s just get this started again. Time to put you on pitocin. I know you don’t want to but they stopped and cydotec didn’t work for you last time. Let’s get this baby out!” So back to the room we went and strapped into the monitors again and an iv I went. I begged the nurse to let me not be strapped down in the bed. I actually thought that I could get up and move around while on pit, but the nurse said nope. So I was stuck in the bed. My worse fear! 

Ok…that is the end of part 1! This is already pretty long. Ready to read part 2? CLICK HERE

You can jump ahead and read my 1 week postpartum bump update! CLICK HERE

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey!


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