Friday, February 27, 2015

Exercise After C-Section

Tomorrow is the last day of February. Time is going by so fast (except for when it comes to the weather. Spring can hurry up, now)!

Earlier this week, I had my 5-week postpartum appointment with my doctor. I couldn't believe it was already time for that appointment. I feel like just yesterday I was in the hospital, getting ready to deliver Piper.

At my appointment, the doctor said that my c-section incision is healing up well, and that I can begin to speed walk for exercise. Once I reach 8 weeks postpartum, I may add any exercise I feel I am able to. This is great news!

I am so glad that I'm allowed to exercise again. I wasn't planning on getting right back into running like I was doing prior to pregnancy, so walking will be just fine for now. My body has been through a lot. I will eventually get back to running, just not right away.

In the meantime, I have been reading up on the following articles:

Returning to Exercise After a C-Section
How to Jog After a C-Section
Returning to Running After a Cesarean Section

My dear Forerunner and I, back when I was running.

I really can't wait for warm weather and the challenge that a hard run brings me. However, since we aren't there quite yet, I am going to focus on enjoying the "season" I am in. My baby is 5 weeks old, I am cleared for walking, and I am ready to start making some goals for the month ahead!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Balance Bar Prize Pack Winner Announced

First of all, I want to thank everyone who entered the Balance Bar Prize Pack Giveaway! I really wish you could all be winners, but unfortunately, there could only be one. Fortunately for Cathy B., she is the one!

Congratulations, Cathy B.! You have been randomly selected to win this great prize pack from Balance Bar! Please check your email and respond within 48 hours to claim your prize. I can't wait for you to receive these goodies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As for the rest of you, I still have some great news to share! Your chance to win a great prize from Balance Bar is not over!


This isn't the last Giveaway I will be hosting this year. My friends at Balance Bar are committed to bring a little more balance to your every day and I have agreed to participate in a collaboration with Balance Bar for this entire year. What does that mean for you? Many more helpful tips, resources and GIVEAWAYS in the future. Just stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How I Lost My Baby Weight

Prior to becoming pregnant with my daughter, Piper, I was on a weight-loss journey of losing 100 lbs. At the time that I became pregnant, in the Spring of 2014, I was 40 lbs. into that goal of losing 100 lbs. You can read more about how I lost that 40 lbs. by clicking here.

Today, I would like to share with you how I lost my baby weight.

During my pregnancy, I gained 38 lbs. going from 233 lbs. to 271 lbs. at the time of delivery.

I delivered my beautiful baby girl via c-section on January 21, 2015. It took 9 months to put on the baby weight and only 10 days to take it off. I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 233 lbs. on January 31, 2015. Trust me, nobody could be more surprised about this, than I.

So, how did I do it? Quick answer: I'm not sure! Long answer to follow.

During my pregnancy, I ate as best as I could and I drank a ton of water. I mean, I was putting back anywhere from 100-140 ounces of water a day. To say that I was thirsty for water during my pregnancy is an understatement. I do not know for sure, but I wonder if my body held on to a lot of that water.

Aside from delivering a 9 lb. 6 oz. baby, I believe the rest of my "baby weight" was truly fluid or water weight. I rarely drank anything other than water while pregnant. With all those ounces of water I was drinking, there was simply no room for juices, soda, etc. (There was always room for food though. Wink wink.)

I gave birth to my daughter via c-section. I was fairly immobile those first 10 days as I lost my baby weight. So, exercise (even if it was possible and safe to do) was definitely not what did it for me. One thing that I did, though, was drink a lot of water. My ankles were incredibly swollen the first 5 days after delivery, so I drank my little heart out. Before I knew it, the swelling went away and so did the rest of my baby weight.

If I were to give you my best assumption as to how I lost my baby weight, the answer would have to be my relentless water drinking habit. I was far less thirsty for water after delivering my baby girl, but I knew that I needed to do it anyway for a better recovery. The bonus just happened to be that it also helped me shed my baby weight at the same time!

(Disclaimer: everyone and every body is different. I am not a medical professional. This is my own personal experience. Please seek medical advice regarding this topic.)

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Balance Bar Prize Pack Giveaway while you still can! Your chance to enter ends on 2/26/15.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How I Beat the Baby Blues

I would first like to start off by confessing that I really dislike the term "baby blues". In my case, my baby was not causing me to feel blue. Baby blues is just the term commonly used to describe the feelings associated with the hormonal imbalance that inevitably comes after giving birth. If anything, my baby is what would help me shake those hormonal feelings. She would make me smile, and being close to her would help put everything back into perspective for me.

I know that not all people go through the same feelings, but I have decided to share the feelings that came for me after giving birth; how I managed to get through them, and; why I want to share this all with you.

"Baby blues" was a term I was familiar with from all of the books that I read during pregnancy to prepare myself for labor, delivery and beyond. However, the depth of the description would entail something about hormonal changes after giving birth, causing sudden mood swings. Therefore, I skimmed that portion of the book and moved on. After all, I was pregnant. I knew a thing or two about mood swings; I felt as if I needed no further education. Been there, done that, please move on. Right? Wrong.

The "mood swings" from "baby blues" felt different to me than mood swings during my pregnancy; they were more intense and uncontrollable.

The instinctive way that I tried to overcome the "baby blues" was with these three steps:

1. Address the feelings: what are they?
2. Identify any controllable triggers
3. Find ways to help limit the triggers

Addressing the Feelings:

The feelings I experienced lasted the first two weeks and they ranged from anxiety to sadness to complete giddiness. The hardest feeling to overcome was anxiety. I wanted to feel comfortable and confident, not anxious.

After a couple days of analyzing myself for any "controllable" triggers, I found that I would often get more anxious toward the end of the day. My possible reasons: exhaustion, change from day to night, and "cabin fever".

Once I had identified some possible triggers for my postpartum-hormone-induced anxiety (aka Baby Blues), I began to do something about it.

"Baby Blues" Triggers and How I Dealt with Them:

Exhaustion: Each morning, I would wake up with my husband and get ready for the day along with him. Putting on make-up, doing my hair and getting dressed may not make me any less tired, but it does make me feel better. The routine also made me feel good. When I feel good, I am more relaxed. When I am more relaxed, it is easier for me to take a nap throughout the day (which was something I struggled with because of the next trigger).

Change from Day to Night: This was my own personal "witching hour". Looking out the windows to see it was dark as night would make my heart race. I began to think to myself, "Night time so soon? These days are flying by!" I dealt with this trigger by closing the curtains just before it would get dark out, turning on some energizing music and all of the lights in the house.

Cabin Fever: When you just had a baby, you don't get out of the house much (especially when it's the dead of winter and you gave birth via c-section). Given my circumstances, there wasn't much I could do about this early on, but with each day, I was able to do more. It began with me getting bundled up, braving the cold, and just standing outside while I let the dogs out. Then, I was well enough to go on my first ride with my husband. (We just drove to Lowes together one night while my mom watched the baby.) It progressed to me finally being able to drive myself, even if just around the block, so I could "get out" anytime I felt the need to once my husband got home from work.

Thankfully, my "baby blues" only lasted a couple weeks postpartum. I really disliked how uncontrollable the mood swings were. I wanted to feel my best all the time, but the reality was, my body had just gone through a lot, and it was continuing to go through a lot of change. Ultimately, once I realized that I just needed to give myself a break, I was able to start feeling better about it all, and then the blues were gone before I knew it.

(Disclaimer: everyone and every body is different. I am not a medical professional. This is my own personal experience. Please seek medical advice for any help you may need in dealing with "baby blues".)

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Balance Bar Prize Pack Giveaway while you still can! Your chance to enter ends on 2/26/15.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dreaded Mondays and Be Contagious

Today, I am feeling mighty motivated. I'm not sure if it's because it's Monday or if it's because I'm another week out from my c-section, but I am feeling good! I believe I am finally ready to start making goals to start living a healthier life again. Nothing makes me feel better than having some goals to work toward (and it's been a while since I could make some serious goals for myself).

When it comes to making goals to live a healthier life, I have decided to start off small and not overwhelm myself. After all, starting out with "baby steps" is just one tactic I used to lose 40 lbs. previous to getting pregnant last Spring.

This week, my goal is to be more positive.

That's it. That's my goal. How is that going to help me live a healthier life? Simple. Positive thinking inspires. Being positive can inspire others and more importantly, in can inspire yourself.  I don't believe you can have a positive life with a negative mind; it's draining to yourself and to others.

So, I am going to try to put a positive spin on things that come across my path this week. Monday's here? Great! Monday's aren't that bad, anyway.

I believe that I have always had a love-hate relationship with Mondays, however; since becoming a stay-at-home mom, I have decided that my love-hate relationship has shifted. These days, I've got a little more love and a lot less hate for those "dreaded" Mondays.

In the few weeks I've had at home, Monday's have become my day to get everything in order for the week. Come Monday, I'm rested up from the weekend (as rested as you can be with a one-month-old) and I'm ready to get "back to business" (a business that I am loving even more as each day passes).

Bonus: pajamas are my new "work uniform"!

I really love all of my days at home with Piper, not just Mondays! They all start out about the same. My husband and I get ready for our days; I change and feed Piper, and; I drink my coffee while watching the (early) morning news. Then it's play time with Piper followed by cleaning up the house or writing a blog post during her naps.

Don't get me wrong, there are hard moments and hard days, but the good days far outweigh the hard ones. The hard ones are usually hard due to lack of sleep or a gassy baby. The smiles, laughter, and love in our house always make up for that!

What is your goal for the week?
Feeling negative about something today? Share it, and your positive spin! 
Being a positive thinker can be contagious. Pass it around!

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Balance Bar Prize Pack Giveaway while you still can! Your chance to enter ends on 2/26/15.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Piper Grace: One Month

My heart kind of skipped a beat as I began to write this post. How is Piper already one month old? 

Have you ever heard of that one mom that cried in the hospital as she held her newborn because she feared about her baby growing up too fast and that those moments would be gone too quickly? Well, if you haven't heard of that mom yet, you have now because that mom is me. Yep. I definitely have a hard time with my baby girl growing up. However, all of the fun new things she is doing these days kind of makes up for it.

Piper likes:

- Baths: just as long as you quickly put a warm-water-soaked wash cloth on her belly, and change it out with another warm wash cloth before it starts to get cold.

- Bunny Buddy: she is fond of chewing on bunny buddy's face, and is known to whisper secrets in bunny's ear.

- Daddy: the face she is making in this picture is called the "I'm with dad face" because she only makes that face with him. She is so incredibly comforted by him. She's a definite "daddy's girl".

- Purple Rattle Monster: from two weeks old, she had her eye on that rattle monster. Starting this past week, she now bats her hand at him and "talks to him" (which consists of a lot of random "ah's and wah's).

- Side Sleeping: the first night that we brought her home from the hospital, we laid her in the bassinet and within moments, she rolled onto her side. If we can manage to get her to sleep on a flat surface (i.e. bassinet, crib) then side sleeping is "it" for her.

- The Rock n' Play: our first night at home with Piper was a long night of only 10-15 minute stretches of sleep in her bassinet. It wasn't until 5:30 a.m. when I remembered that we had the Rock n' Play. Moments after putting her in the Rock n' Play she was fast asleep and gave us a couple hours of rest. Aside from our arms, it is still her favorite place to sleep.

- Car Rides: if the car is moving, this girl is snoozing.

- Tummy Time (the first 5 minutes): particularly this past week, she has had a lot of happy cooing to be said within the first 5 minutes of tummy time. After that, it's some not-so-happy "words".

- Hearing (and watching) mom sing: "You are my Sunshine" and "Part of that World" from The Little Mermaid.

Listening to the sounds of the shower and the blow dryer: during my shower, she lays in her Rock n' Play quietly and alert, and when I use the blow dryer, it puts her to sleep.

- Listening to Music and Dancing in Mom's Arms: mostly to the Dylan Holton Pandora Station.

- Her hands: she likes her hands in, on and around her face and mouth at all times. You may remember seeing this same thing in her 35 week sonogram photo.

Piper dislikes:

- Burping
- Gas of any kind
- Cold wipes
- Sleeping flat on her back
- Tummy time after 5 minutes
- Being put into her car seat while she is awake

Some more pictures from her first month with us:

This little girl is so loved. 
Happy One Month, Piper Grace. 
You have made it the happiest month of our lives!