Time for a change!

Tomorrow, July 8th, marks ONE month since James arrived in our world. Where does the time go?!

I would say that I had a fairly easy pregnancy… actually, I take that back. No pregnancy is EASY, but I had zero health complications and for that I am grateful. I was pretty nauseous until midway through my pregnancy however. For me, nausea = ONLY consuming carb- and fat-filled foods like pizza, quesadillas, cheese, pizza, and more pizza. Did I mention pizza? Ha! I was on the carb-loading pregnancy train, and to be honest, I haven’t yet jumped off yet.

My eating is a bit better these days (by a bit I mean I don’t eat pizza once per day…) and I have more self-control now that my body isn’t being ravaged by crazy pregnancy hormones <– read: I don’t give into every. single. craving. my body throws my way these days. Thank goodness because with James, my cravings were NOT healthy, haha! But my eating still needs a major shift back to the healthy side.

I am *slowly* dropping some of my baby weight, or so I assume based on photos of myself. I won’t weigh myself again until my 6 week appointment in a few weeks. I’m thankful that breastfeeding helps me get back to my non-pregnancy normal. BUT I must say that I am more than ready to kick this postpartum booty into gear and get rid of the rest of my baby weight!

Here are my 2 week postpartum photos:

And my 4 week postpartum photos:

In case you’re wondering, nope, I definitely do NOT like these images of myself but these “before” photos are going to make my “after” photos even more rewarding!

Some may say that 2 months postpartum is far too early to focus on weight loss. I say to each their own! I feel good, James is already a much better sleeper than Dean ever was (knock on wood…), and I’m getting back into my fitness routine next week (Eek! Join me for BODYPUMP, Naples friends!). Eating well and losing the extra weight will only give me more energy to be a better mom and teach better classes!

On August 1st (yes, I know it is a Tuesday – I like starting with the number 1, LOL), I will be kicking off my postpartum 24 Day Challenge! I am ridiculously excited for it if you couldn’t tell ;-)

I know I’ve raved about AdvoCare often on this little blog of mine, but I absolutely believe in this program. It works if you work. Nope, it’s not a quick fix or a crash diet. You don’t starve your body. It is a real food program that teaches us how to incorporate healthy habits into a lifestyle. It is sustainable and you will see results if you follow the plan.

You can find my “Dean postpartum” AdvoCare results here.

Whole, healthy foods + supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps = A healthy, more energized YOU!

If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, find more energy, feel fantastic, or you just want to kickstart a healthy lifestyle, I’d LOVE to have you join me.

The products are safe and effective and my supportive and motivating AdvoCare community is the best! If 24 days isn’t your thang, there are plenty of other options – You can shoot me an email (becky@olivesnwine.com) for details or to join me.

I am super excited to start feeling healthy and energetic again and can’t wait for you to feel the same – Let’s do this together!

Goofus and Gallant: Postpartum Edition

Do you remember when Molly and I did a little healthy pregnancy series? The ones all about our eats and fitness throughout our three trimesters?

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No?

Yeah, didn’t think so – It’s been a few months (8 to be exact!) since our last post. But have no fear, today we’re back with the final edition covering our postpartum fitness routines.

Head on over to Molly’s space on the internet and read about how two different women focused on fitness post-baby.

In case you missed the first three editions, head on over for Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3.

The Magnificent Mile Chicago 5k – Race Recap

Over Labor Day weekend, I ran my first post-baby race!

Before I get into my recap, I realized that I lied to y’all about running a 5k since I began blogging <– Oops! #mombrain I actually ran the Ditka Dash right before leaving Chicago last year. My knee had been acting up and I had just found out I was pregnant, but per my recap, I finished at around 28:23.

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Leading up to the event, I didn’t have super high hopes. I had only run a handful of times since December and when I did run, I didn’t pace myself or know how many miles I had gone (except when I was on a treadmill, obviously). But because I’m Type A (code for crazy, haha!), I put together a few race goals to feel a bit more put together before the race.

  • A – Cross the finish line! And have fun with girlfriends before, during, and after the race.
  • B – Finish in under 30 minutes.
  • C – Finish in under 27 minutes <– A 5k PR.

You can read more about why I set “A-B-C” race goals here.

Anyways, let’s get to the recap!

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The night before the race, Kyle and I were out with friends pretty late (well, late for us at least) and I didn’t get to bed until around 1am. When my alarm went off at 4:45am, I tried to find every excuse in the book to skip the race. Thank goodness I knew I was meeting Erica and Amy at the start line to give them their bibs so I absolutely could not dip out, haha. That is what friends are for, right?! ;)

I made a bottle for Dean, chugged my Spark-Rehydrate combo, and made some peanut butter toast for the road. My MIL graciously drove me downtown and dropped me off right by Buckingham Fountain so I didn’t need to worry about taking public transportation.

After a quick walk looking at the multiple vendors on location, I hit up the bathrooms, and then met Erica and Amy. For only have a few hours of sleep under my belt, I felt fairly awake and excited to get the show on the road. After chatting, we realized everyone was already lined up to start so we made our way to our pace goal areas and off we went!

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The first mile was rough. Everyone was crowded together and as we made our way up Michigan Avenue, there was absolutely no air flow. Thankfully, I had “trained” (better known as run a few times in the sweltering Florida summer) in much hotter and more humid conditions so I kept telling myself that it was only a few miles and then I’d be done. I stuck with the 1:50 half marathon pace group for the first 2 miles and then, when they split off to continue the half marathon route, I kicked it up a notch – I just wanted to be DONE. It was early. I was tired. The sun was in my eyes. And I was HUNGRY.

I ran as quickly as I could move my legs – although thinking back, I could have run faster throughout the entire race I think, and as soon as I saw the finish line and heard the announcer, I moved my behind even faster. Obviously I just wanted to cross that line!

I figured I had run quickly because there were only a few finishers at the end when I arrived. That or most everyone else decided to run the half marathon. Either way, I grabbed my frozen, chocolate-covered banana (best post-race treat ever) and waited for Amy and Erica.

I glanced at the timer as I was crossing the finish line and I thought I saw 25 something but figured it was off so I had to patiently wait for my race results to be posted to the website… It’s a good thing we had brunch plans at Little Goat post-race to keep me distracted ;)

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During brunch, our race results were posted… I finished in 25:15 and 6th in my age group!! I couldn’t believe it.

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I was thrilled with my performance and think it was a combination of being used to running in hot weather (Chicago was “warm” for the midwest that day), introducing more weight lifting into my fitness plan, and my Advo supplements that allowed me to blow my goals out of the water.

I feel a lot more confident in myself and my ability to train for a half marathon this fall/winter after this race. Now I just have to decide which race to run!

How do you set race goals? What is your 5k PR? What’s the last race you run/next race you will be running?

“Challenge” Results

I always love reading about other women’s health journeys so I thought I’d share part of my postpartum story today.

Before I jump in, you’re probably wondering why the word challenge is in quotations in the title. Here’s the thing, I’m still breastfeeding so my body’s numero uno job right now is to feed Baby Dean. Like a lot of women who have recently had babies, of course I want to go all out, balls to wall, get the baby weight and lumps gone, BUT I wanted to be realistic with myself. If you are feeding another human, you should not “challenge” your body, it is already being put through the ringer. You gotta love yourself where you are at and make small improvements. The small daily changes are what create long lasting improvements anyways.

With that being said, for the past 24 days I continued with my favorite AdvoCare products (I’ll share my exact schedule below.), kept up with my normal fitness routine, and cleaned up my diet to make sure I was consuming whole, good for mama and baby foods.

I’ll start by sharing my results since that is the most exciting part and then I’ll jump into my supplementation schedule below!

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Results <– I think the photos speak for themselves, yes?

Number Results:

  • I’m down 8 pounds.
  • I lost 6.5 inches, 3 of which came off of my stomach.

And because we all know, numbers only tell a small fraction of the story, here are my other “results” that I am loving these days:

  • My skinny jeans fit again!!! Actually all of my clothes, even my Skinny Minnie dresses fit (and look good on me <– self brag, it’s good to be confident in yourself and it is something I’m working on) again. Wahoo!
  • I feel great – My mood is wonderful, I’m happy, I am more outgoing when I’m in public… I just have an overall, “I feel fab” mindset these days.
  • Dean is sleeping through the night – I’m not sure whether this is age-related (It started a few days before he hit the 3 month mark) or related to eliminating sugar and crap from my diet, I guess we will see the next time I indulge in a big ol’ cookie ;) Either way, 9-10 hours/night has been much welcomed.
  • I have a crazy energy boost – I’m sure everyone can agree, extra energy is always welcome :)
  • My workouts have stepped up a notch – I no longer feel like I’m out of breath while teaching (or taking) BODYPUMP and I no longer need a nap after spending an hour in the gym. Yay!

While I obviously want to continue to see results – mainly in my fitness performance and core strength, I am happy with where I am at 3 months postpartum. There are (unfortunately, haha) no quick fixes, but hard work will take you far!

Now, let’s chat my supplement schedule. Here is what I took:

  • Upon waking: Probiotic Restore, 2 Catalyst, and Spark + Rehydrate
  • 30-60 minutes later: Peaches ‘n Cream Fiber Drink followed with 24 ounces of water (I took the fiber each day during days 1-10 and then every 3-4 days during days 11-24)
  • 15-20 minutes later: 2 OmegaPlex with breakfast
  • With lunch or dinner: CorePlex (serves as a prenatal) and 2 OmegaPlex
  • I also had MRS on hand for when my sweet tooth struck. I’m obsessed with making mug cakes with them now!

My workout supplementation:

Going forward, I plan on sticking to everything I listed out above and an 80/20 schedule. Eat well most of the time (it is good for Baby Dean and it makes me feel great), and throw in some treats along the way. Life isn’t worth living without chocolate and wine and pizza and the good stuff, am I right? Balance is the key to happiness and I know I will continue to get closer to my goals each and every day.

My team is kicking off a group, “back to school” challenge beginning right after Labor Day – September 8th! If you want in shoot me an email (becky@olivesnwine.com). It’ll be tons of fun – Lotsa new friends, tons of support and motivation, healthy recipes, tasty Spark, and more!

As always, thanks to everyone who has supported Kyle and I since Baby Dean made his appearance! It’s been a journey and I appreciate all of our friends and family who have helped along the way. He is a lucky little guy to have so much love in his life :)

My first 5k race goals

Over Labor Day weekend, I will be running The Magnificent Mile 5k with a few of my girlfriends.

While it isn’t my first ever 5k, it IS my first postpartum race and I believe the first 5k I’ve run since I have started blogging.

I’m excited to get back into the swing of running after taking a 6-month hiatus while pregnant! I was training for the Chicago Marathon when Dean decided it was his time to join our family, so it feels pretty fabulous to be setting some running goals again.

Per the usual, I have multiple running goals. I like to set A-B-C or 1-2-3 goals for races. A – A generic goal that will meet my minimum requirements of happiness at the race. B – Middle of the road goal that will be somewhat challenging but still easily doable. C – A super challenging personal goal that I would be THRILLED to accomplish at the race.

My goals for The Magnificent Mile 5k include:

  • A – Cross the finish line! And have fun with girlfriends before, during, and after the race.
  • B – Finish in under 30 minutes.
  • C – Finish in under 27 minutes <– I believe this would be a PR (I never kept track of my race times prior to blogging.) and I’d feel pretty fantastic if I could master this after having a baby AND on a holiday weekend ;)

I know these are pretty basic goals, but we all have to start somewhere, right? I *think* I’ll be able to hit my C goal which means I should probably make it a bit more challenging however, I want to go easy on myself with this race. I’ll take it up a notch for my next run around the block.

How do you set your race goals? Are you running any races over Labor Day weekend? This fall?

{Three Month!} Postpartum Update

I gave y’all an update on Baby Dean yesterday, so now it’s time for my 3-month postpartum update.

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Per the usual, we’re going to cover three topics today:

  • Physical – Body and Fitness
  • Mental/Emotional
  • Baby – Breastfeeding, Care, etc (Dean has his own monthly updates)

You can find my previous updates here:

Physical

I’m pretty much back to my normal self these days. My old clothes fit and I even wore one of my favorite, slim-fitting striped dresses a few weeks ago. I must admit that was a pretty good feeling ;)

The past 17 (I think?) days I’ve been eating 95% clean foods and taking my fave Advo supplements that are breastfeeding approved. I am glad I decided to wait until Dean was 3 months to really jump back to focusing on my physical health, but I am SO happy I’m back to it! I have a ton of energy, I feel great, Dean is sleeping better (might be related to my lack of sugar consumption? who knows!), and I’m actually now weighing less than I did at my first prenatal appointment. Although weight wasn’t a super important factor to me, it is nice to know that I’m back in my “normal” pound range and I was able to get there by eating a balanced diet and being active. I’m sure breastfeeding helped a little in this area as well but I wasn’t really losing the last few pounds until I cleaned up what I was eating. Food is so important to our well-being and health! I still have a few areas I want to work on – mainly my lower core (duh – it just housed a human, of course I want to work on it!) and lifting my butt (LOL), but I’m working on it and it’ll come with time.

I’m still teaching BODYPUMP and running a few times a week. Now that Dean is old enough for the YMCA’s Child Watch, I’m going to get to a few classes each week as well. I did purchase Kayla Itsines workout plans (I’ll do a review in a few weeks) and I LOVE them, but I don’t love working out at home. I mean, it is easy and convenient but I have ZERO motivation to start and then I’m always tempted to check Facebook or feel like I should be playing with Dean or find some other reason to stop before I’m done, haha! I think I’m going to start taking her workout plans to the gym – I’d be much more productive with that 30 minutes and Dean would be getting attention from the daycare.

On a negative physical note, my hair has started that lovely postpartum shed. I maybe lost 1 hair per day while I was preggo so I definitely have plenty to lose, I just hate seeing it wash away when I shower. From what I gather, it only lasts a few months and then your hair is back to normal – fingers crossed! AND my skin has taken a toll from the many sleepless nights I’ve had since May. I looked in the mirror the other day and had a “woah girlfrand” moment. I look like I need sleep and a facial and that I need it stat! LOL. I’m not breaking out, I just look tired and a bit wrinkly for lack of a better term. I could probably increase my water consumption so I’m focusing on that and getting more rest when I can. The Florida heat isn’t helping matters either right now. Hopefully my skin will be back to its normal self when my hair adapts as well! Changing hormones are so lovely ;)

Mental/Emotional

All is good here as well. I actually don’t think I have any real updates from last month. I feel a bit more “free” now that Dean can attend daycare and I can have an hour to myself at the gym… which may be spent at the juice bar relaxing some days! He’s pretty easy to take out and about now, although I am taking him out of his car seat for errands (besides Target) since his poundage plus the car seat is A LOT to carry <– any tips on how to easily/quickly get babies in and out of a car seat? I find it to be a big pain the behind.

It would be nice to find a babysitter/nanny that Kyle and I trust to watch Dean a couple times per month so we can get some solo date nights on our calendar. It’s just the trusting part that is difficult for both of us. Apparently we trust no one with our son, ha! I don’t want to stick him with friends and we also don’t want to hire someone random because, well, he’s our baby. I am going to get to know the girls at the YMCA’s daycare a little more and if I decide I like them, I may see if any of them are open to babysitting a few hours per month. For now, he gets to come on dinner dates with us. He sleeps through them for the most part, but it would be nice to not check on him every 2 minutes and have an adult conversation without a pacifier on the table ;)

One other “mental” related thing, I am going to become more intentional with my time. I absolutely love multitasking but it doesn’t make me the most efficient at anything. Starting TODAY (if we say we will start tomorrow, it never happens – right??), my calendar is blocked off for three main things – personal time (80%), work time (15%), other time (5%) – and they aren’t going to overlap. That means no social media when I’m playing with Dean, no AdvoCare email/text/call responses when I’m working out, no texting friends or checking Instagram when we are having a date night. It’ll be nice to focus 100% of my attention to what is important at the time and it will also make me more efficient each day. I’m excited to start!

Baby

As I mentioned yesterday, Dean is still exclusively breastfeeding. As far as I can tell, it is going well! He’s gaining weight and is a happy baby so I’m guessing he is getting enough nutrients. I gotta say though, after exclusively pumping for 2 straight days in Dallas, if I were going back to a 9-5 gig, formula would be happening. I HATEEEEE pumping more than once per day (that’s what I’m doing now so we have a little “stock” in case I get sick or travel like I did to Dallas sans baby) and I just can’t see myself doing it if I were in an office setting. I don’t have a set goal of how long I want to breastfeed. We’re just going to go with it as long as it is going well. Sometimes it does feel a little overwhelming knowing that I am pretty much the only one that can feed him, although Kyle does give him bottles a few times per week (that just means I have to pump more though – LOL – so not necessarily better on my part!). Thankfully, his feedings are getting further apart so it doesn’t feel like we are just nursing constantly.

Everything else is going fine as far as baby care goes. I’m thankful he’s a fairly easy baby and it hasn’t caused me a ton of stress. Fingers crossed he stays this way ;)

I think that’s a wrap! I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to keep doing my personal postpartum updates since not much is changing month to month. Maybe a month or two longer? Or until I get those abs I’ve been lusting after? <– Bahaha, I’ve never had “abs” so if I get them post-baby, it’ll be some miracle from the god of muscles. I do enjoy sharing what I’m thinking/feeling each month so I guess I’ll just take it update by update and go from there.

Thanks for listening to my rambles! Have a fab one :)

{Two Month!} Postpartum Update

As of Tuesday, Mr. Dean is now two months old!

All I can say is WOOHOO! Some new moms seem a bit sad as their babies grow older, but I’m thankful. First of all, he gets easier with each day (at least in this stage) and secondly, getting older/bigger is what is supposed to happen. It’s a good thing :) So keep on growin’ Deany Beany.

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I’ll give you an update on Dean after his 2-month check-up on Monday, but today is about how I’m doing 2 months post-baby.

Per my one-month update, we are going to stick to the following three topics:

  • Physical – Body and Fitness
  • Mental/Emotional
  • Baby – Breastfeeding, Care, etc (Dean will have his own monthly updates)

Physical

I’m feeling 99.9% back to my normal self these days. At my 6-week appointment I was about 6 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight and about 10 pounds from my “goal” weight <– I say goal weight because that number is where I have felt my best physically before, not because it is necessarily a goal of mine to get/be there right now. I have been lifting more the past few months so I am guessing that number will be higher as muscle is more dense than fat… and I’m working on building more muscle! The most important thing to me right now, from a physical standpoint at least, is to feel good and fit into my old clothes. As much as I’d love to go out and purchase an entirely brand new wardrobe, that’s not happening, LOL. Plus, I have some nice pieces that I want to wear (confidently) again :)

With that being said, I can pretty much fit into all of my pre-baby clothes and feel comfortable in them… minus my tight/form fitting dresses and jeans. I did have a “moment” yesterday though. I ordered my first Stitch Fix and while everything fit pretty well, a few of the tops they sent were 1) awful and 2) made me look 15 pounds heavier than I am. After that experience I ate a huge piece of chocolate cake because that was obviously going to solve the problem at hand…

I should also publicly apologize to my SF stylist – I gave her some frank feedback about the tops she thought were appropriate for a breastfeeding mom of a 2 month old! Hey, I’m honest, what can I say?

Anyways, back to my update… Since I want to feel better and get back to my healthier habits (meal planning – we’ve been eating the sameeee things over and over and both Kyle and I are getting bored, eating mostly whole foods and avoiding junk, having energy, etc.), Kyle and a few of my friends are going to join me for a 24-Day Challenge beginning August 3rd – I’m doing a modified one that is a-okay for breastfeeding mama’s. It’s been a year since I’ve completed a 24DC (because baby!) and I can honestly say I can’t be more excited, especially for everyone joining in for moral support. No junk. No wine. No consuming my emotions with large pieces of chocolate cake. Just good for me foods and filling in the gaps with supplements. Dean will benefit too. I probably shouldn’t be creating breastmilk from bags of Doritos and spoonfuls of Nutella. At this rate he is going to be addicted to sugar and processed crap before he can even eat, so it’s time to stop his habits before they begin.

And how about the fitness thang? I’m back to teaching at my gyms – WAHOO! It feels great to be with adults for a few hours a week and get back to working out. BODYPUMP is kicking my butt though. Holy moly. I decided to up my weights slightly since I’m just working out for me now and I am feeling it after every class. Hurts so good. Once Dean hits 3 months, he can attend the gyms’ daycare centers and I can get back to SPINNING and general gym going during the weekdays. THANK GOODNESS. It’ll be good for both of us to get out.

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Oh! And I’ve also gone on a few runs since my 6-week appointment. I’m not running as much as I’d like to because it’s flippin’ hot in Florida right now, sleep in the mornings is far more important than running before Kyle leaves for work, and Dean isn’t old enough to run in a stroller yet. (Yes, I know there are some moms that feel comfortable jogging earlier with their babes. I am not one of them. I don’t want to risk shaking his brain around until his head is more stable/his ped gives me the okay. Smart baby >>> Risking brain damage so mom can fit in a run, IMO.)

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Mental/Emotional

All is still well in this arena as well. I would say that the sleep – or lack thereof – got somewhat difficult around weeks 5 or 6. The first few weeks home I was running on adrenaline and it was “fun” to wake up multiple times per night to see/cuddle/feed Dean. But I got super drained around the 6-week mark. It might have been because that is when we had a bunch of visitors and I was go-go-go a lot of the time, who knows. I allowed myself to nap with Dean during the daytime for a week straight and I started to feel A TON better. He also started sleeping for longer periods around the 6-7 week mark, wahoo! He was doing a maximum of 3.5 hour increments at night before then and hit 4.5-5 hour increments once he turned 7 weeks. It’s even better now (I got a 7.5 hour stretch last night!) but I’ll save that for my next update.

I also had a few times where I felt like a secluded shut-in, for lack of a better term. LOL. I wasn’t feeling depressed really, it was more about feeling like I was inside all day everyday with only Mitchell and Dean. I’ve decided that SAHM’s are heros – I don’t know how y’all do it! Regardless, I contemplated getting a part-time job just for an excuse to GET OUT (I was going crazy one day LOL), but then I realized a few things… 1) I am going to start up my fitness/personal training business in a month or two so that’ll get me out and interacting with adults; 2) I don’t want to send Dean to daycare; 3) I was being crazy, LOL; 4) I do Advo and my fitness gig so I CAN be at home with Dean; and 5) Part-time work wouldn’t even pay for daycare.

Anyways, I’m over that crazy mentality and I am making an effort to get out more on a daily basis. I am heading to the library today to sign Dean up for storytime groups come September (he has to be 3 months old before he can attend) and I have started searching for mom groups. Plus, once I start doing the whole fitness thang (in addition to my group fitness gigs now), that along with caring for Dean will keep me plenty busy during the week!

Baby

Nothing major to report here. We are still exclusively breastfeeding and that is going well. I make a lot of milk (not complaining or boasting, just stating a fact) so I have to pump in order to stay comfortable <– trying to keep it to once daily to prevent my body from making even more milk. Kyle is concerned that we may need to purchase a deep freeze to store it all, LOL, but I’m sure Dean will catch up to my supply one of these days and if not, we will have plenty of milk for him to consume if I choose to stop breastfeeding at any point. Plus, it’s nice to have some stored up in case I get sick or travel (I will be away for 2 days in August and it’s nice that we have enough milk to feed him while I’m gone) or can’t feed him for whatever reason.

Other than that, I am still surprised at how “intuitive” it is to care for a baby. Neither Kyle nor myself had cared for an infant before Dean and I think that we’re both doing a pretty good job! He’s clean and fed and generally happy. I say that’s a success ;)

So there you have it, my 2-month update! Hopefully parenthood continues to go well for us. Although it’s not like we can back out now, LOL. We’ve been blessed with a “good” baby that doesn’t cry often (only when he’s overly tired or wants food NOW) and is easy to care for each day. And if y’all could remind me of this when he hits a difficult stage, that’d be great…

{One Month!} Postpartum Update

Baby Dean turned ONE month old on Sunday, June 14th. Seriously, where has the time gone?

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He is {magically} asleep at the moment, so I thought I’d drop in and give y’all a little one month update on all things mama!

I have been thinking about the categories I want to recap in each of my monthly updates and I have decided on the following:

  • Physical – Body and Fitness
  • Mental/Emotional
  • Baby – Breastfeeding, Care, etc (Dean will have his own monthly updates)

Sound like a plan? Sweet – Let’s get to it!

Physical

As far as my body goes, I’m feeling a bit more normal with every day that passes. I was able to fit into my non-maternity shorts and tops at around 2 weeks postpartum, but things were a bit snug which is to be expected! At 4 weeks, my clothes fit SO much better and while I am definitely not at my pre-baby “shape” yet, I’m happy that most (not all…) of my clothes are fitting, even if they are fitting slightly differently than before.

I’m still taking it easy on the fitness front until my 6-week appointment later next week. I have been practicing BODYPUMP at home (minus the core track) when I get the chance and walking with Dean and Mitchell in the mornings. I CANNOT wait to get out on a run when I am cleared for exercise. Holy moly. My last run was on Christmas Day and my legs are itching to get some movement. I know my body will start to take back more of its form when I can get back to running and teaching BODYPUMP. On that note, I plan on going back to my Sunday classes as soon as I get the okay from my doc! I think my Tuesday morning classes will have to wait until Dean is a bit older and can go to the gym daycare… I will just be happy to get out and about for a bit and back to the gym :)

Some of you have asked about the Bellefit that I ordered prior to Dean being born. Personally, I LOVE it! I don’t think my abs separated as much as I originally though when my belly was stretched with a baby (they feel pretty normal when I test them now), but I do notice a huge difference in the appearance of my mid-section when I remember to wear the girdle. I was really discouraged the first 2 weeks postpartum when I couldn’t get it to zip (totally normal, BTW), but soon enough, the girdle zipped all of the way up! I can even see a 2-pack peaking through and I contribute that to wearing the Bellefit as much as possible in order to pull my muscles back to their correct positions. Plus, it made it much easier to fit into my pre-preggo clothes a little sooner by holding my belly in… And, if anything, that helped my confidence when going out in public. I know, I know… it shouldn’t matter (I did JUST have a baby!) but it’s the small things when you are learning how to care for a human and want to feel like yourself in public.

Mental/Emotional

I was cautioned to watch for postpartum depression by basically everyone (friends, family, my doctor, complete strangers…) prior to giving birth so I have been keeping a close eye out for it. I know that it could still happen, but so far, I’m feeling really great mentally! It really helped that Kyle was home for 2 weeks with Dean and I, although I did have one blow up moment when all I felt like all he was doing during his paternity leave was sitting on the sofa watching sports while I was caring for the babe ;) (Blame the hormones!) After I exploded, I felt much better, LOL. I also had a moment of sadness on the day that Kyle went back to work. I really just wanted him to be home with us forever and ever and not have to leave his family during the week. I think it was partially knowing that I was going to be left alone with an infant for the first time ever and partially that I got used to seeing him 24/7. He was great at checking in throughout the day and after surviving a few days alone, I felt a lot more confident in my abilities.

I am by nature a homebody (#introvertprobs), but around Week 3, I started to feel a little home bound. The hospital and pediatrician cautioned us about keeping Dean away from most public places until he was a month old (due to germs and a newborn’s immature immune system), so I was terrified to take him ANYWHERE. Now that I feel a little bit safer taking him out and about, I feel a lot more “free” and able to do daily errands even if they are somewhat limited because I am toting around a little man. The little guy has now been to Target (multiple times), a wine shop (priorities), the beach (to meet his fellow Sparkheads), the USPS, and a few other places… and we survived!

Baby

While I am happy that breastfeeding came naturally to both Dean and I, I can’t say that was “easy” for me. Yes, he latched on and ate well from the beginning but it HURT like no other for the first 2 weeks. He had the correct latch (I had a lactation consultant confirm this), but his mouth was so small, he was basically pinching me every time he ate. Talk about PAIN. So, the hard part with breastfeeding for me came from more of an emotional standpoint than a physical standpoint. I knew I didn’t want to give up, so I kept at it – and thankfully after the 2nd week (and using the Motherlove cream that Molly gave me) things improved immensely. It also sucks to know that you are the only one that HAS to get up each time the baby is hungry at night. Yes, I have been pumping and he does take a bottle well, but even if Kyle gave him a bottle at 2am, I would still have to wake up and pump to keep my milk supply up. Kyle has asked if I want him to wake up with me each time during the night, but – in my opinion, it is silly for two people to be exhausted when one of us can be sleeping!

Thankfully, I have stopped waking him up every 2-3 hours at night (This was recommended by my lactation consultant for the first 2-3 weeks in order for me to establish and maintain a proper milk supply… and because newborns need to eat that often to stay hydrated.) and just allow him to wake up on his own. Most nights he is pretty good and only wakes once or twice… except for last night which was every 2 hours, hiya growth spurt!

All of my worries about knowing how to care for a baby pretty much dissipated a day or two after he was born. You learn very quickly how to become a diaper changing pro and what a hungry cry sounds like vs. a “I just want to be held” cry. The only thing I still dread doing is cutting his nails! After a recommendation from Ashley, I purchased an electric nail file and it has been a LIFE SAVER. I no longer fear chopping off his little fingers, LOL.

As far as my “free” time, it really varies on a day to day basis. Some days he sleeps A LOT and I can get more than I expect done and others, not so much. The past few days it has been on the more “not so much” front and I haven’t been able to catch up on my favorite blogs (I’m talking to all of you who haven’t seen a comment from me in forever – wahhhh!) or clean the kitchen or practice BP. We will get the hang of things eventually and I realize that I just need to be patient and flexible as he is adjusting to life outside the womb right now :)

Phew! What an update. If you’re still here, props to you! I feel like I could go on and on and on some more about life as a new mom – Is there anything you would like to see in my next monthly update? I promise to include more photos next time!

Things I didn’t expect postpartum

There are a few things I’ve experienced after Baby Dean entered the world that I definitely did not expect. I know there are a lot of you future mama’s out there, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on my postpartum experience thus far. Obviously, every pregnancy and labor/delivery is different so what I experience will most likely be totally different from the next mama… It’s never wise to compare yourself and/or your recovery to anyone else’s – Please remember that these are my experiences as you read through this post!

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1. Recovery isn’t as terrifying as I anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, the first two nights in the hospital were rough. It hurt to get out of bed and going to the bathroom by myself was a horrifying thought. Thankfully, those nights were the worst and I have had minimal, if any, pain from delivery since leaving the hospital. I was expecting a much, MUCH worse experience… especially when you hear horror stories from everyone you run into during your last month of pregnancy (the grocery cashier… the fellow gym-goer… random people you walk by…) about bleeding for months and months, not being able to walk like a human, utter exhaustion, never having the time to shower, your body never being the same again, a colicky baby, and so forth. I guess it goes to say, set your expectations low and you’ll be pleasantly surprised ;)

2. Similar to my previous point, it is amazing how quickly my body has “bounced back.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of work to do (I tried on my non-maternity shorts last Thursday… Yaaa, bad idea, haha!), but if anyone saw me walking down the street or even in a bikini at the beach, they wouldn’t assume I had just popped a kid out of my body. It just looks like I have had a few extra bags of Doritos and my share of Ben & Jerry’s over the past few months. #truth ;) Granted, I had a fairly easy (relatively speaking…) labor and delivery which I know is helping in my body go back to “normal,” but I honestly believe that staying fit and eating relatively healthy throughout my pregnancy has been a huge contributor as well. I haven’t been working out post-baby (or doing much of anything…), but I am breastfeeding, *trying* to eat well, going on slow walks, resting when I can, taking my Catalyst, and wearing my BelleFit (it still won’t zip completely but it’s getting closer each day!) – Basically women’s bodies are amazing and know what to do when it comes to babies!

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3. Breastfeeding really sucks at first. Just being honest here! Even if the baby’s latch is perfect, your nipples will be super sore for the first few days (they have to suck really hard to get that colostrum out at first)… And then your milk comes in and your breasts become engorged. HOLY OWIE. I think it’s nature’s way of forcing you to feed your baby because if you don’t, you will be in an incredible amount of pain. Heck, even if you do nurse every hour, you’ll still be in pain, it just takes the edge off! Thankfully, as long as you stick with it, the pain subsides and your milk production evens out to meet demand after a week or so. I recommend getting a jar of coconut oil and Motherlove Nipple Cream (my friend Molly sent me a jar of this and – no joke – 12 hours after my first use, I felt 100x better) and taking a lot of warm showers to get you through the beginning days.

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4. “Let down” literally means milk will come pouring out of your body, almost always at the most inconvenient time. For some reason, I thought that term just meant that your milk was easier to come out for the baby. HAHAHAHA. No. It’s a good day if I only soak through 2 shirts… apparently this gets better with time, we shall see. Oh, and nursing pads are the most painful things to wear when your nips are sore. They’re scratchy torture devices, but they do work if you need to catch all of that fallin’ milk.

5. Even if you didn’t have swelling during pregnancy and didn’t have an IV during labor, you will probably still experience some weird postpartum swelling. I freaked when I woke up the day after Dean was born to swollen fingers and ankles. The nurses assured me this was normal – A lot of fluid builds up during pregnancy and after that baby comes out, your body has to figure out what to do with the excess. Lots of walking and water consumption will help even everything out within a few days.

6.  It’s incredibly sweet to see your husband interact with your baby. I always knew Kyle wanted to be a dad, but the way he interacts with Dean is adorable – Reading books, saying “I love you,” telling him that he’s getting cuter by the day… Awww. Your heart really does melt!

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7. Mama and non-mama friends alike will be amazing! I can’t express how grateful I am for all of my friends who have reached out to see how I’m doing, to say congratulations, and to make sure everything is okay. I’m not the best at responding in a timely manner at the moment, but everyone’s texts and messages mean a lot to us!

8. You WILL become obsessed and post photos of only your baby. I swore that I wouldn’t do this, but I quickly realized that for a few weeks (maybe even months??) after birth, you do NOTHING but spend time with your baby. So, even if I wanted to post about something else on social media, I really have nothing at my fingertips to share, haha. Thank you for bearing with me… I promise I’ll get to more than baby things with time. You know, like wine (SO glad it’s back in my life!), Spark, BODYPUMP, beaches… The things I used to obsess about in my day-to-day life ;)

Fellow mama’s – What did you experience postpartum that you least expected?

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