The plan

After my first c-section, I had a hellacious recovery and the last thing on my mind was getting back into shape. I just wanted to live. This time around, I took great care to ensure that at the end of it all, I could get into the best shape of my entire life. It all started by losing weight and working out a lot before getting pregnant. I was already living a healthy lifestyle when we decided to have another baby. Once that decision was made, I focused on workouts and diet while trying. It not only set me up for a healthy pregnancy, but distracted me from the heart-wrenching process of trying to conceive. I continued diligently on my NO Sugar, NO Grains lifestyle, going off-course only on holidays and maybe a fro-yo on a Friday. Then, somewhere in the last 10 weeks of pregnancy, I lost my shit. I had SPD, was exhausted, and was completely overrun by kids. I struggled to motivate myself to cook and developed several food aversions. Sometimes, the only thing that didn’t make me gag was fries or ice cream. I fell apart as far as nutrition goes. Being on modified bed rest for nearly half of my pregnancy caused me to be unable to work out as well, other than walking the dog four times a day.

Now, I’m 3 and a half weeks post-partum, after delivering my LAST BABY EVER. There is no time like the present to get myself into the best shape of my life. I jumped back on my NSNG wagon almost immediately after discharge from the hospital. I am already 7 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I honestly would probably have reached it already if not for the damn jelly beans. We bought a GINORMOUS jar for the boys for Easter and I absolutely can’t keep my hand out of the jar. It’s like crack (so seriously, sugar is scientifically proven to be addictive). It’s time to get my hand out of the candy jar and get back to what I know is good and healthy.

I have goals and a plan to help me reach them.

fitnessgoals The plan

You’ll notice that I have not included a weight goal. While I have been striving for 110-115, I am okay with not reaching that if I put on a ton of muscle (which I should with the training I’m planning). Instead, I’m shooting to be able to wear a size 4. Again, I’m good with not being able to squeeze into size 4 jeans if I get a nice round rump. icon smile The plan

More than anything, my ultimate goal is to wear a white bikini. I have not worn a bikini since I was probably 23-years-old. I will never look perfect in a bikini. After four kids, two of them born via c-section, it’s just not happening. I just want to feel confident in it. I plan to reach that by summer 2015.

I haven’t had definition in my arms since high school, when I worked those puppies out on the pole every day (calm down, I’m talking about a color guard flag pole). It’s time to get back there. They were starting to shape up before I got pregnant and stupidly stopped weight training.

I want to get back to the place where my meals are balanced without much thought – back to where it’s second nature and I don’t hover over the jelly bean jar, talking myself out of eating all of them. PFC refers to protein, fat, and carbohydrate breakdown. My girl Cassie can do a much better job explaining PFC eating, so go read this post to shed some light. Then follow her on all the social media. She’s my best resource, followed closely by trainer Vinnie Tortorich and fellow NSNG eaters.

I have no doubt I can achieve all of these within just a couple of years and here is how I plan to do it…

theplan The plan

Again, I have to get my diet balanced back out. That is the number one thing that controls weight loss and it’s the part I can do now instead of waiting until the doctor clears me for workouts.

I used to be a BEAST with water consumption. Honestly, I barely have time to even remember to eat lunch or finish my coffee these days. I must work that water in though.

Speaking of drinks, enough with the sodas already. I usually let myself have a huge fountain Cherry Coke once a week. Those days are gone – all it does is cause me to want ALL THE SUGAR.

I am so excited for Dustin to start teaching me how to swing that kettlebell. I had little patience for it before, but knowing the benefits, it’s worth trying again. Go read his blog post about kettlebells while we’re talking about it.

Going along with that, it’s time to get on a weight-lifting regimen. We have a nice weight bench in our garage now and I intend to work it this summer. I have no idea what I’m doing though. Thank God for my husband.

Now, for exercise I DO know, I’ll be running again. I don’t have any solid goals I want to reach with running. I just want to do it for fun – because it’s meditation and good old-fashioned cardio. I hate running during summer, but I gotta get after it!

The recovery

I had an emergency c-section with my third child, as a result of shoulder dystocia. It was a traumatic experience and it took me a couple of months to get over the physical impact and even longer to recover emotionally. After much research, prayer, and discussion with my OB, I decided to have a repeat c-section with Claudia. I prayed every night that this time would be different, that I wouldn’t suffer from emotional trauma and that physical recovery would go more smoothly. I’m happy to say that despite the universe trying so hardly to bring me down, it has been immensely better than the emergency c-section recovery.

This time, when planning the c-section, I also elected to have a tubal ligation and chose to have an On-Q pain pump while recovering in the hospital. The pump is inserted into the incision area to deliver local anesthetic so that fewer/weaker drugs can be used. Strong narcotics put me straight to sleep and I didn’t want that. It was a great choice, because the incision itself did not hurt a bit. Before discharge, I was hobbling around much better than I was the first time, assisted by narcotics of course. I was discharged 2 days after the delivery, as is normal in uncomplicated c-sections at my hospital. Dustin took the entire week off of work to be with us and my mom was there for a few days as well. I knew that this would help me recover quickly. I rested a lot while Dustin was home and stayed on top of my pain medication. There were still times when I was pretty sure I was going to pass out from pain and I was just so damn tired. I actually did too much that first week too, come to think of it. Target trip at 4 days post partum, anyone?

IMG 1546 e1397704993746 225x300 The recovery

Then Dustin went back to work last week and I got crazy. Okay, so I didn’t actually get crazy, but I did try to do entirely too much. In the midst of a really bad and painful week, I also got a stomach bug and am now battling some sort of respiratory issue. I’m happy to say that I only take about one pill a day, in the morning. When I get up, everything is stiff from a night of sleep and I can barely walk upright. This time, recovery has been vastly different and I’m so thankful for that.

However, you then have the breastfeeding story, which I’ll talk about another time. It has caused way much more pain, both emotionally and physically. At the end of the day, I’m just so thankful that this experience has been a good one overall. I am also thankful for 4 healthy children and my strong and healthy body that brought them here. Let’s be honest – I’m also thankful that I’m done being pregnant forever.

The baby and her family

Turns out that 1. I’m lazy. 2. I change my mind a lot. 3. I just want to move forward. This means that I am not going to be recapping how I prepared for the birth or even the day of surgery itself. I’m going to start with showing off my daughter and you will get a few surgery details within the recovery post.

March 31, 2014 at 12:21 p.m., we welcomed our daughter via repeat c-section. Claudia Love Christian weighed in at 7 pounds and was 20 inches long. She truly is the most beautiful thing. So teeny, with long legs and big eyes!

claudia 500 The baby and her family
IMG 1418 500 The baby and her family
paw paw 500 The baby and her family
nick 500 The baby and her family
headed home 500 The baby and her family
bassinet 500 The baby and her family
quinny 500 The baby and her family

I could seriously drown you guys in photos, but I’ll exercise some restraint – for now.

We are settling into a good routine quite nicely and are all just in love with this sweet girl!

Be sure to come back tomorrow to read about my c-section recovery!

Guess who’s back, back again?

So, I’m back. With a baby GIRL. 5-part series starts tomorrow, taking you through details of the preparation, birth, recovery, and what’s next. Looking forward to oversharing!

For now, I leave you with this: I still love wine. It’s possible that I love it more than ever.

These final days

I have been busy doing everything and nothing this week. Blogging has been the last thing on my mind. This morning, it is pouring rain and I’m writing from the bed… because I can. Wednesday, I had my final prenatal appointment EVER. Kinda weird thinking I’ll never again lie on a table and have my belly measured and a baby’s heartbeat monitored. As things stood Wednesday, still 4 cm dilated, 70% effaced, baby at -2 station. Pretty sure she dropped further last night. I keep thinking I’ll go into labor before Monday’s c-section, but maybe not. Tonight we are going on our last date night for awhile. We are going to see Bad Words and probably eat copious amounts of theatre popcorn. On a side note, I don’t even like popcorn but can’t resist eating it at the theatre. Clearly, they put crack in it.

I am a bundle of nerves, but seriously everything is ready for Claudia. We just need to get groceries (and booze!) tomorrow then we’re all set! My mom has been here all week, so my house is cleaner than usual and there are those nice little touches like flowers on the front porch and a vacuumed bedroom. I’m kinda loving it! I also have generally been able to relax more because she has taken care of everything. She will be here for a little while after Claudia comes too, so that will be nice. It’s a necessity to have extra help, since I can’t go up and down the stairs and stuff like that. Dustin will be home all week next week too. I am really looking forward to getting to know my baby girl with others to help with the stuff like making sure the dog doesn’t pee on the floor and little boys flush toilets.

It’s possible (likely, even) that I won’t blog again for another week or so. Follow me on Instagram for the most current baby updates! I update there more than anywhere else!

final days These final days

Hump Day Dump Day (and a baby update!)

Last night, I had an hour in which I thought for sure I was in labor. I had painful contractions that were 3-5 minutes apart for the entire hour. Once I got the boys settled into bed, I finished packing my hospital bag. By time I had it packed, I realized the contractions had stopped.

This morning I had my weekly OB appointment. I usually give appointment updates when I do my biweekly Bump Report, but I thought this was worth telling now. I am dilated to 4 cm. The OB has put me on notice and we are now officially on Baby Watch. She isn’t convinced I’ll make it to my c-section date. If I have another hour of contractions like last night, I’m supposed to go to the hospital and if I’m indeed found to be in labor, I’ll have my c-section. So! I’m a bundle of nerves right now. I need to scrub my kitchen really well and finish some things in the nursery. Honestly though, the nursery isn’t THAT important since she isn’t even sleeping in there until I recover from my surgery. I just want it done for ME. In the grand scheme of things, I have everything done. We have a car seat, diapers, can feed her, and she has somewhere to sleep and clothes to wear. And bows. She has bows.

I have been trying to get back to reading and catch up with my Goodreads challenge to read 52 books this year. No, that’s not really a lot, but when you’re expecting a newborn, already have 3 kids, are a full time student and trying to be gainfully employed, well – it kinda IS a lot. Currently, I’m halfway through The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Hmmm, will reserve judgement till I’m done.

I am working on some mug orders for the first time since January and it feels good to be creative again! I will be adding notecards to the shop soon!

Y’all – it’s almost the most wonderful time of the year… BASEBALL SEASON!!!! I can’t wait to drink beer and watch the Red Sox win some games!

I am also excited about this Easter. I can’t wait to see my princess girl in her first Easter dress! And I can’t wait to fill FOUR Easter baskets this year!

It’s been busy times around here and I can’t wait to show you all I’ve been working on – including this baby girl!

Bump Report: Claudia Love, 37 Weeks

37 Bump Report: Claudia Love, 37 Weeks

Two weeks from today, I will have my scheduled c-section. I will have a daughter, a FIFTH CHILD, in 2 weeks. That is so unbelievable to me. I am knee-deep in packing hospital bags and completing nursery projects. This week, the crib will get put together, several decor projects completed, and hopefully the house will get a good cleaning.

Body Changes: I am completely unconcerned with my weight gain at this point. I’m glad that I have not gained as much this time and I feel so ready to get this baby weight off after. I’m confident I can do it quickly and permanently. My breasts have continued to grow, as pregnant boobs do.

Clothes: I am so beyond ready to wear normal clothes again. I am really tired of wearing leggings and tunics. Can a girl wear some skinny jeans without a stretchy panel again?!

Gender: GIRL!

Movement: The movements are big dramatic rolls mostly. She seems to be on her side, head down. Her booty often pokes out on one side while her feet and arms poke me on the other side.

Sleep: I still have a lot of trouble sleeping, especially if I don’t take Zantac at dinner time.

Cravings: I am still loving sweets and ice water.

Other symptoms: A little swelling in my legs, reflux, back pain, varicose veins. Lots of contractions. Good times!

Appointment notes: Last week’s appointment showed that I am still dilated to a 2. I have another appointment this Wednesday and I am curious to see if I have made any more progress with all the contractions I’ve had!

Saying goodbye to pregnancy

the best things about not having kids 640 04 300x210 Saying goodbye to pregnancy

As I near the end of my fourth pregnancy, I have been reflecting on what it really means to be done. I am so fortunate to be fertile. Trust me, I know that. I have never had to try very long or very hard to conceive. I sincerely wish that was the case for all the women out there who long to be mothers and have yet to experience it. So while I know that I am truly blessed to be near the end of my fourth healthy pregnancy, I am over it all.

I have never enjoyed pregnancy overall. Sure, there are great things such as feeling tiny kicks and keeping baby safe inside. Then there’s everything else. Nausea, reflux, back pain, SPD, body changes, constant unwanted attention and questions…. I could go on and on. I am so grateful that my body has carried 4 healthy children, but I am also excited that I’m having a tubal ligation in less than 3 weeks! I will forever feel blessed to have these children and so amazed that my body grew them. I am looking forward to getting control of my body back and getting in the best shape of my life – with no excuses to ever let myself go again.

For now, I soak it all up and enjoy my last days of carrying a child safely inside me. Soon, it will all be over and I’m sure that one day I’ll look back on these days and marvel at the things our bodies can do!

Hump Day Dump Day – belated

I started this post yesterday and just never finished it. Here ya go, my unfinished brain dump….

I had an OB appointment… nothing to report there. I really love the staff in the office and am so glad I get to go visit every week.

I am having so much pain this week… in my back, hips, pelvis, everywhere really. With less than 3 weeks to go until I meet my daughter, that is hardly surprising.

Work on the nursery continues. I am really enjoying decorating a GIRL room. How fun! It is very very pink. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I created some new products for a Southern medley last night and hope to have them all up this weekend. I have some new mug designs I want to do, but my mug supplier does not carry my mug anymore, so I’m having to find a THIRD supplier (my first discontinued their mugs).

Girl Mom

I have to say, it is a very strange thing to be entering the world of the girl mom. Bows, pink, glitter, and all things girly have begun taking over my house. I have tried for years to contain my frilly stuff the best I could. Those days are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

In the past week, I have worked on the nursery and bought bows. This stuff is becoming so real! I am finally beginning to feel prepared to bring a baby home! It helps that my classes ended this weekend, so I am now able to devote more time to getting things ready! I expect that the nursery will be done by the end of the week for the most part. I have a few more recovery essentials that I need for myself and I need to go booze shopping (YAY!). I do need to give my house a good cleaning so that I can fully relax when I bring home my baby girl.

I am eager to have my OB appointment this week and see if I’ve dilated any more. I have said since about mid-way through this pregnancy that I think this girl will come early. I’m dying to know if I’m right! Regardless, I will have a daughter in 3 weeks!

I can’t wait to show y’all the nursery and some of the fun DIY projects I’ve done for the room. Having a girl is a different world and I’m LOVING it!

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