Family


Family / Fitness / Life

It’s been a couple of months since my last blog post! That’s because I’m focusing a lot of my attention on my YouTube channel. The growth of my channel has been incredible and I am so thankful to everyone who has watched, thumbs up’d, and subscribed! I started the month of June with around 200 subscribers. Now, at the end of July, I have nearly 7,000! It’s been amazing and I am having so much fun with it!

A little life update and summer recap for you guys:

We took a trip to Miami to see family which was a ton of fun. While we were there, my husband and I got to leave Maddie with my in-laws and Mike and I had a couple of date nights. We were given tickets to see Justin Bieber and it was a blast! I’m not a huge Bieber fan  but I also don’t dislike him so it was exciting to be able to go. We had amazing seats! The production was fantastic and it was just a fun night out.

We also decided to start Crossfit! It’s been so much fun so far and we’re really enjoying it. It’s perfect for me because it’s quick, it’s a great mix of cardio and strength training, and there isn’t a lot of thinking involved. I also like that I have a goal I’m working towards each WOD.

Maddie is almost 10 months old and I can’t believe how fast time is flying. She is growing so fast and learning new things every day. She is such a joy!

Other than that, I’ve really just been working on my YouTube channel and creating new things for you guys to watch and see on there. I’ll check in here once in awhile, but if you want to stay up to date with what I’m doing, definitely check it out! You can find it by clicking here.

I’m going to do a huge giveaway when I hit 10k subscribers, so keep an eye out for that! Love you all!

 

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To a NICU Mama… Family

It’s been 6 months to the day since we were able to bring Maddie home from the NICU. She was there for 13 days. 13 days wondering if there was another tube in her or if she was hooked up to a different machine. 13 days hoping she would remember to breathe. 13 days wondering if she was going to ever come home.  Maddie’s NICU stay was easily the worst time in my entire life. There were times where I would sob and literally say,” She will never come home.” I lost out on a lot of things new mothers are supposed to experience. I grieved over those losses. There is nothing that hurts more than seeing your child struggle to live and not being able to help. In retrospect, 13 days isn’t very long. There are so many families that spend much more time there and my heart hurts for them. 

If you are a NICU mom, this is for you. If you are newly a NICU mom, I promise that it does get better. Right now, it’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to cry and it’s ok to scream. You are not alone in those actions and emotions. Eventually, this will be a memory and it will be ok.

I’ve been trying to write something about how it is to be a NICU mom for months  but I could never get out the words in the right way. I decided to abandon what was “right” and just write. Here’s what came out. 

Madalena at 1 day old.

Madalena at 1 day old.

nicu mama

You are strong.

You may have spent little to no time with your baby. If you were lucky enough to get a minute or two with her, you could tell she was struggling. If you were lucky, the first memory you have of him is his discomfort.

You spent your first night as a mother without your baby. If you were able to take him home from the hospital when you were discharged, you still wondered if he was healthy enough to be home with you. Just know that you are strong and you are enough.

You may have been one of the few who left the hospital a mother without their child. You are a warrior. You battled tears every drive you made to and from the hospital to see your child. You fought back screams every time the doctor said, “She’ll need a feeding tube” or “He’s not quite ready to come home yet.” You held your breath every time a monitor would beep. You prayed that it wasn’t your baby and that, if it was, it was a mistake.

You may have been one of the few who could have crawled into a dark corner and sobbed for hours. You may have done that. But you battled back and you made sure your daughters nursery was ready for her when she came home.

You may have been one that stayed in the hospital with her. Your days and nights were only different because of the light outside. You spent all day look at your baby, looking at her monitor, and looking back at her. You’d tell the nurses you’d sleep only to lie down and stare at the ceiling- fearing the next “ding” would mean your son needed help that you couldn’t provide.

You may have been one of the few whose “it’ll only be a couple of days” turned into “she’ll have to stay for at least one more week.”

Maybe for you that “one more week” turned into “maybe next month” or even “maybe her due date.”

Maybe “maybe her due date” turned into never at all.

Maybe you aren’t even a NICU mama yet – I pray that you never are.

No matter what kind of NICU mama you are, just remember:

You are strong. You are a fighter. And you have so many NICU mamas in your corner.

Madalena at 6 months old.

Madalena at 6 months old.


Family / Fitness / Life

Losing baby weight is a struggle for a lot of women. We are told how to lose it and shown who lost baby weight quickly, but that isn’t reality for a lot of us! Here’s why.


Christmas Recap! Family / Fitness / Life

I haven’t updated recently because we went on vacation to visit my family for Christmas! We drove up on Tuesday morning and stayed until yesterday morning.

The drive to Atlanta was long and boring. I made sure to pack some healthy snacks, though! I packed some Powercrunch bars, chocolate rice cakes, and peanut butter. It’s really easy to eat poorly while on the road so it’s important to plan ahead!

Once we got settled at my parents house, we went to Atlantic Station to go ice skating. I didn’t skate because I had M in her wrap, but it was still so fun watching my dad and sisters skate! After skating, we went to a restaurant called Yard House and it was amazing! I loved all the different food options. There were so many different combinations of flavors that I hadn’t seen before. I wanted to try one of everything! We all split a few appetizers and I got a pastrami benedict burger (yes, that is as good as it sounds!).

christmas in atlanta

Wednesday morning I went to the gym with my mom and we worked shoulders and back with her trainer. After the gym, we spent Wednesday lounging around and taking family photos. I also went to Target to pick up a last minute Christmas Eve dress for M. The one I brought was too small. She’s getting so big! On Thursday, Mike and I went to the YMCA and played racquetball and it was so much fun! We were there for an hour and had such a great time! Racquetball is a great workout.  We spent the rest of the day relaxing before going to Waffle House for dinner- a tradition- and going to the 11pm Christmas Eve service at my parents church.

christmas in atlanta

Christmas Day was a blast as well! We opened presents and had a delicious meal. I got a lot of great gifts! One of my favorite gifts was from my sister. She knows that I’ve really been enjoying cooking lately so she got me some cookbooks with a bunch of healthy, simple recipes. I can’t wait to start trying some of them this week! Side note: how cute is M!?!

christmas in atlanta

We spent Friday and Saturday lounging around the house (are you sensing a theme here?). Mike and I went to the YMCA again on Saturday to play racquetball again and had a ton of fun. I also worked legs that day. We also met up with my friend Becca for brunch and my friend Meghan for dinner! I hadn’t seen either of them in almost a year so it was awesome to catch up!

On Sunday, we relaxed, went to Trader Joe’s, went to a family friends house for an engagement party, then Monday we drove home!

We had such a good trip. I don’t see my family very often usually, so it was nice to spend some time with them. I’ve seen them more this year than the past few years combined, mostly due to M being born. Now that everything has settled down, I’m not sure when I’ll see them next. Life is kind of starting back up again with me going back to work next week (more on that at another time) so it will be interesting to see how and where things fall into place.

What did you do during the holiday vacation?

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Life Update // Baby is Here! Family / Life

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post. Last time I posted, I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was nervous about my glucose test, I had gained 20 lbs in 24 weeks, and my blood pressure was great.

So much changed very shortly after that post.

If you don’t want to read the full story, here’s the cliff notes of my life update: I have a baby! Madalena Anne (Maddie) was born on October 11, 2015 at 35 weeks, 2 days gestation after an induction due to severe PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension)/ pre-eclampsia.

If you want to read the full story, keep reading!

My blood pressure stayed steady until 28 weeks almost to the day. I went in for an appointment one morning and my blood pressure was 150s/90s after multiple readings. My OB sent me to Labor and Delivery (L&D) triage to be monitored. My BP lowered a bit after a couple of hours so I was sent home with a medication to keep it low. I was also told to take it easy- no exercise.

A week later, I was back in L&D for contractions. I was released soon after since they were non-labor inducing contractions.

Around 30 weeks, I woke up incredibly nauseous. I could barely walk, I was vomiting, and even sitting made my BP spike. I called my OB and she decided to admit me to the hospital for overnight observation. Overnight observation turned into 3 nights of observation because no medication they tried would help lower it without making me incredibly ill. Instead, she increased the dosage of my original medication and discharged me with instructions to be on bed rest.

Staying in good spirits while admitted for observation.

Staying in good spirits while admitted for observation.

Around 33 weeks, I was back in L&D with yet another BP spike. My OB increased my medication one more time with the hopes that it would help at least prolong an induction. At this point, I was visiting the perinatologist 2x a week to make sure my blood pressure wasn’t inhibiting blood flow to the baby and I was also visiting my doctor 2x a week to make sure I was ok. My doctor was keeping a very close eye on me because I had all the symptoms of pre-eclampsia without proteinuria (when you spill protein into your urine indicating kidney issues). It was important to catch proteinuria if/when it happened because it could have turned a bad situation into something much worse.

At 34 weeks, 6 days I went to my perinatologist appointment and he was very unhappy with my blood pressure. When I went to my OB appointment immediately after, my blood pressure was 160s/90s and I was admitted into the hospital until I delivered. At that point, I didn’t know how long my admission would be. At the very most, it would have been 2 weeks since my OB would have delivered me at 37 weeks.

I taught myself how to crochet!

I taught myself how to crochet!

I was admitted on a Thursday. My BP stayed relatively under control for a day but I had a very high reading (174/90-something) on Friday night. My OB said that if I got another high reading, she would induce me. Sure enough, early Sunday morning (around 4am), my BP read as 180/90-something. 10 minutes later, it was 188/100. My nurse called my doctor and I was moved to a delivery room. My husband arrived shortly after and pitocin was started. After 30 minutes on pitocin, my IV fell out. I was bleeding everywhere (who knew so much blood could come out of your hand?) and the nurse had to- obviously- re-start my IV. She let me take a shower before starting the induction over, which was nice.

The last bump picture I took! Right before I was re-started on the pitocin.

The last bump picture I took! Right before I was re-started on the pitocin.

After re-starting the pitocin at 7:00am, I waited around for contractions to start. I had a lot of back labor, which sucked. I got an epidural around 10:30 when I was about 3cm dilated. The epi only took on one side so I had to be re-dosed around 12:30. Those two hours were incredibly uncomfortable. At 12:30, I was checked again and had progressed to 4cm dilated. I was preparing myself for a long labor so I tried to close my eyes for a little bit. At 1:45 I was checked again. The nurse said, “Oh, woah,” which prompted me to get nervous. She said, “You’re 8-9cm.” I couldn’t believe how fast I had progressed! My OB came in at 2:00 and said it was time to push. At 2:41pm, Maddie was born!

I wish the story stopped there, but it doesn’t. Maddie was quickly taken from me for breathing issues. I was assured that it was normal for a preemie and was told she would probably only be in the NICU for a couple of days. A couple of days turned into a week which turned into two weeks. To top it off, I wasn’t able to see her for over a day because I was put on a magnesium drip to make sure I didn’t have any seizures as a result of my blood pressure post-delivery. Not only was I physically ill, I was literally bedridden to the point of having these things put on my legs to keep blood flowing. I was released after a few days, but I had to leave Maddie in the hospital. Let me just say, leaving your baby in the NICU day after day is such a taxing and emotional experience.   For a week, I sat and cried (sobbed) uncontrollably. I wanted my baby home so badly. I felt so lonely. I was so used to her being with me and kicking me at night. I felt like I lost everything. I was so empty without her. After a week and a half, I was asked to room in with her in the NICU to help with her feedings and 3 days later she came home!

On top of ALL that, we had a pipe burst in our home right after I was admitted for the first time. We had to vacate our home for nearly a month while it underwent renovations. The only reason Maddie came home to our house is because she was in the NICU. They finished renovations 1 week before she was discharged. To say this past month has been a roller coaster is the understatement of the year!

We’ve been home for a few days now and we’re finding our rhythm. I am so happy to have her home with us! She is almost back up to her birth weight- very exciting since she lost almost half a pound after being born.

As for me, I am still restricted from physical activity. I am being weaned off BP medications since my pressure looked good at my last appointment. My next appointment is my 6 week post-partum appointment and I should be cleared to exercise then. I can’t wait to start running again!

Some other pretty cool news: I ended up only gaining about 30 lbs during pregnancy and I’ve already lost 15 of it! I’ll be back in shape in no time!

Now, if you made it through all of that, here’s a picture!

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Obviously, I’m biased, but I think she’s the prettiest baby in the whole world!

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24 Week Bump Update! Family

I’ve missed a few weeks of these, but here’s a bump update! It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but here we go!

  • How far along? 24 weeks!
  • Total weight gain: At my last appointment, my total gain was 20 lbs. Scary, but my blood pressure is great, so nothing to be worried about!
  • Maternity clothes? Oh yeah. They are SO comfy!
  • Stretch marks? Nope! I got this new oil that helps with skin elasticity and it smells like lavender. I am OBSESSED.
  • Sleep? It’s hit or miss. I sleep well until about 3:00 and then I can’t get back to sleep until 5:00-5:30 (I usually fall back asleep once my husband’s alarm goes off- kind of weird). It’s hard to get comfortable.
  • Rings on or off? Replacement set is still one!
  • Best moment this week?  I found out my mom and sister are coming to visit in a few weeks! I haven’t seen my sister since February so I’m excited to see her!
  • Cravings: MANGOS
  • Symptoms: Sciatic pain and CRAZY heartburn.
  • Nutrition? Also hit or miss. I’m making sure to be extra diligent this week since I have my Glucose Tolerance Test on Tuesday.
  • Workouts? I had a great few weeks at 3x a week but it’s getting hard to workout. I get uncomfortable really easily so I’ve had to dial it down which is a bummer.
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • Looking forward to? Tuesday! After my dreaded test, we have another appointment to check Baby MAC’s progress. Also, August is the last month that we have as down time! We have a shower in September, a shower in October, and then she’s due in November!

 

That’s what’s going on this week! I’ve done some more things for the nursery so hopefully I’ll get that posted soon!

 

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21 Week Bump Update! Family

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I’m officially over half way through with pregnancy! Even if Baby MAC comes at 42 weeks (please, Jesus, NO), I’m halfway. The first trimester went by so slowly, but I feel like the past few weeks have flown by!  I can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store! Here’s this week’s bump update!

21weeks

  • How far along? 21 weeks!
  • Total weight gain:  I forgot to weigh again this morning… I’m going to guess maybe 15-16 pounds?
  • Maternity clothes? Still yes! I’m still living in maxi skirts and dresses for the work week. I do have some Old Navy linen pants and shorts that I’m loving. I love them because the top is a band like the band on yoga pants so, even though they’re maternity, I can fold the top down once I lose baby weight and wear them when I’m not pregnant. Win-win!
  • Stretch marks? None yet! I do use some cocoa butter and cocoa butter oil at night. The oil is supposed to keep skin from itching and I use cocoa butter because everyone else uses it and I feel like it can’t hurt anything! Even if it’s not preventing stretch marks, my skin is super soft!
  • Sleep? I don’t know why, but I have slept like a baby the past few nights. The only nights I didn’t sleep well this week were when we were on vacation (thanks a lot friend’s neighbors who set off mortars at 2:00 am). I used to take Ambien to sleep and then stopped taking it once I got pregnant. Luckily I slept because my body was so exhausted, but I started getting less sleep in the past month. Being up and down peeing all night kind of sucks. For whatever reason, though, this past week I’ve slept really well. I definitely don’t hate it!
  • Rings on or off? On, but it’s still a replacement set.  I also had to get a new replacement set. The other one had a couple stones fall out.
  • Best moment this week?  The past few days have been awesome. I’m starting to feel her move more and more so it’s really cool! She’s very active during the day and then settles down when I get home from work. It’s crazy to think that I feel her this much with a barrier (Anterior placenta) and her weighing less than a pound!
  • Cravings: None really. I am loving iced coffee though!
  • Symptoms: Still sciatic pain and acid reflux. Hooray! It’s also becoming increasingly hard to bend over.
  • Nutrition? I’m doing pretty well! Staying around my calorie goal each day, which is good!
  • Workouts? I’m up to working out 3x per week! Usually just cardio but sometimes I add in weights. I’ve also been doing a lot of nesting which should count as a workout because cleaning/organizing/decorating is hard work for a pregnant lady!
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • Looking forward to? Tuesday! We have an appointment and we’ll be able to hear her heartbeat and chat with the doctor.

Overall, it’s been a pretty awesome week!

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Bump Update // 19 Weeks Family

Well, friends, we are almost half way through pregnancy! 21 weeks to go! It has been a great week, overall! There have been some hiccups here and there, but I’m feeling good right now! Time for a bump update!

19 week update

How far along? 19 weeks!

Total weight gain: I actually didn’t weigh today, so I’m not sure. I’ll guest 14 pounds, +1 from last week. I could be wrong, though! I’ll make sure to weigh next week.

Maternity clothes? Yep! I’ll probably be in them post-partum too. They’re so comfy. I’ve mostly worn dresses and skirts but I recently got some really comfy linen shorts from Old Navy on sale. Love them!

Stretch marks? None yet, still!

Sleep? I’m sleep more through the night, which is good. The past couple of nights have been rough due to increasing sciatic nerve pain. It hurts to roll over.

Rings on or off? Original set, off. The replacement set is still on.

Best moment this week?  Monday! We found out that Baby C is a little GIRL!! We are so excited! She does have a name, but we’re keeping that a secret for now.

Cravings: None really. I’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches though.

Symptoms: Still back pain. Heartburn has decreased but it’s still there every once in awhile.

Nutrition? Better! I’m working on making dinners more and we’ve done a good job! Things got a little out of hand during the weekend, but this week has been good!

Workouts? I went 3x last week and have gotten activity in 2x this week so far. I’ll probably go to the gym again tomorrow and maybe Saturday. I spent all day painting a wall in the nursery yesterday which is a workout for a pregnant lady.

Belly button in or out? In.

Looking forward to? This weekend!  Hopefully we can finish or make significant progress on the rest! I painted the hardest wall already (lots of corners/doors) so the rest of the walls shouldn’t take long with 2 people painting them.

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18 Week Bump Update // Thoughts on Weight Gain Family

Happy hump day!

Across the internet, there’s a “thing” for pregnant women called “Hump Day Bump Day.” Wednesdays are the days pregnant ladies post their bump photos. Wednesday also happens to be the day that my weeks start over! Now that I’m almost halfway through pregnancy (what?!), I want to start participating in Hump Day Bump Day (HDBD) on the blog. I’ll also use it as a weekly update to let yall in on what’s been going on with me in general! Here’s this week’s bump update!

 

How far along? 18 weeks!

Total weight gain: 13 pounds (I don’t even want to talk about it– but I will below)

Maternity clothes? Yep! Maternity pants are super comfy. I have mostly been wearing a lot of maxi skirts and dresses which haven’t been maternity, though.

Stretch marks? None yet!

Sleep? I’m functioning off less sleep than I was in the first trimester, which is great. Sleep is tough, though. Between sciatic nerve pain and needing to use the bathroom 2-4x a night, my sleep is interrupted.

Rings on or off? On, but it’s a replacement set. My hands are the only things on my body that swell right now. I’m pretty sure it’s the heat.

Best moment this week?  Yesterday! We heard the baby’s heartbeat again. It was strong and high due to a lot of movement. This baby is very active in the morning!

Cravings: None really. I’m glad my food aversions have gone away. I’m more the type to really want something that is mentioned rather than crave something random. Usually that feeling goes away after a little while!

Symptoms: Back pain is my biggest symptom right now. If I walk/stand for a long time my lower back starts to hurt and I get pretty nasty sciatic pain at the end of the day. I also have some pretty killer acid reflux. Hooray!

Nutrition? Definitely could be better! That’s something at the top of my list between now and my next appointment.

Workouts? I’m working out 2-3x per week. Mostly 2x a week but last week I hit 3x and it felt good so I’m thinking I’ll be able to continue with that. I mostly do cardio but I’ve also started to include some light weight training.

Belly button in or out? In.

Looking forward to? Next Monday! We found out if Baby C is a boy or a girl!

 

Now. The big weight gain talk.

Pregnancy is so different for every person. My OB says “Some girls eat like pigs and don’t gain anything while others eat like fleas and gain a lot.” I’m somewhere in the middle as far as eating goes, but I’ve gained 13 pounds in 18 weeks. At my last appointment, my doctor wasn’t overly concerned but it was something she mentioned to keep an eye on so I’m making that a priority for the next month or so. Weight gain up to about 35 pounds is healthy for a pregnancy but my weight can’t continue to increase at this rate.

It is really hard to see the scale go up after losing a lot of weight. When you are mentally used to see the scale decrease, any increase is hard, much less a pound a week. It has been a big adjustment, but I am focusing on the fact that our baby is healthy. As long as our baby is healthy, I’ll be ok seeing the scale go up.

 

 


Big News! Family

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been much less active. Both on the blog and in the gym.

I haven’t quit working out and I haven’t given up on my blog. The truth is:

I’m pregnant!

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Hooray for big news! The past couple of weeks (more like month) have been really hard for me. I’ve been sick nearly every day, I’ve been exhausted (like, going to bed at 8:00 most nights, exhausted), and I haven’t been able to eat the way I used to. It’s been tough! Between being tired and not eating the healthiest, I feel like I haven’t had much to blog about. Now that I’m almost out of the first trimester and I’m starting to feel a little bit better, I’m ready to had a fit and healthy pregnancy!

So far, I’ve stuck to the elliptical. I ran a 5k a few weeks ago and was drained afterwards. Part of pregnancy is lower blood pressure. When your blood pressure is lower, you get tired more easily. My blood pressure isn’t low enough to cause any concern, but it is much lower than normal, so, between that and being always tired, working out has been hard. I go to the gym 2-3 times per week, instead of 4-6 like I used to, and I do an hour of cardio on the elliptical. Once my exhaustion goes away, I hope to start lifting a little more. I’ve lifted a few times since finding out I was pregnant, but I’ve stuck to mostly cardio.

Food wise, I haven’t been the best. Why? Well, because the smell of eggs makes me dry heave and I can’t even think about cooked veggies. It’s so sad! My body is craving carbs, so I’ve been eating a lot of bread and protein. Luckily, I’ve been able to eat chicken- something a lot of pregnant women have an aversion to. One weird thing: I am a sweets person 100%, but I have been craving savory foods! Tortilla chips, TOMATOES (seriously, tomatoes, salsa, ketchup, tomato sauce, I want ALL of the tomatoes!), just savory stuff. Sweet stuff doesn’t sound as good. I am bummed about the foods I’m not supposed to eat, however. Sushi sounds good and I can only have California rolls, I can’t have eggs benedict (one of my favorites!), and my brie cheese has to be melted. It will all be worth it in a few months, but dang it, I want an Italian sandwich (salami is a no-go)!

The past couple of days have been better for me. Nausea isn’t as severe and I’m able to eat more kinds of foods, instead of eating like a 4 year old. I’m hoping it’s a trend and things continue to improve!

Well, now you know where I’ve been lately. I’m excited for this new chapter in my life and I look forward to chronicling having a fit pregnancy!

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