Postnatal Workout Progress

I want to apologize for lack of posting. We are having lots of Internet connection problems (that’s what happens when you move out of the city and into the middle of the woods), hopefully all will be fixed soon and I won’t have to depend on the local coffee joint for free wi-fi.

Okay, I have some bragging to do today. On Friday, we (Husband and I) finished the Beta round of Focus T25. We have endured 10 grueling weeks of some crazy intense workouts. I know what some of you are thinking…It’s only 25 minutes a day, how hard can that be?! Hard. Really effing hard. We have done Insanity, the Asylum and the Asylum Volume 2 and I can easily say T25 is just as hard as all of them if not harder. For real.

I am seeing very real results. I swear I look more toned than these progress photos show, but what’s more is that I feel awesome. I feel so strong! I can tell my endurance, agility, speed and strength have all improved through these workouts and I’m loving it! I am not trying to sound like a commercial or to sell you this workout. I really just want to encourage other people to exercise (any exercise) and to get fit.

progress
after I put all of these together I realized I should have taken them all in the same place in the same clothes, but oh well, too late now!

 

I am really proud of my hard work and my postpartum body. I have some stretch marks and some loose skin where skin used to be tighter, but I have NO shame. The one thing I want to work harder on is eating healthier. I am getting better about cutting out the junk, but there’s still room for improvement. We only get one body in this world, right? Might as well take good care of it!

front progress

As far as my overall health, I’m doing well. I have not got to lower my blood pressure medicine since my last “workout update” post, but it’s still staying normal and the doctor is really happy with my progress since having Luna. Mentally, I feel great. My anxiety keeps improving and I know getting in lots of cardio has helped tremendously. If either Luna or myself starts getting cranky, I have started putting her in the stroller and taking a walk. By the time I get hoe we are both much happier, and she is usually sleeping.

One tip I’d like to share with you this month is to find a workout partner. I cannot tell you how helpful it has been to have Husband workout with me. We hold each other accountable and push each other to do more and work harder. What’s more is we have a good friend who has joined us. The three of us do T25 together almost every morning. It’s so nice to get it done early and to do it with other people. It just makes the experience a lot more pleasant. So, do yourself a favor and find someone to workout with soon!

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Starting yesterday, we began the Gamma round of T25, and it is somehow even harder than Beta. In 4 weeks, I will be reporting back to you with my latest progress! CANNOT wait to see the results!

Cheers!

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10 Minutes (or more) Prenatal Yoga

So, I wrote this blog the day before I went unexpectedly into labor. Clearly, I was not able to post it the next day as I had planned. However, I figure I might as well post it now. I just went through the photos and it is laughable how big and pregnant I am..errr was…  Anyways, I think I look like a pregnant cow in these pictures, but I’m sharing them anyways. After all I was 9 months pregnant so I should look big and pregnant. Also, I started doing yoga again about a week ago (yay, for being able to do light workouts!) and I think doing it both before and after delivery have been so helpful, mentally and physically. Enjoy.

prenatal

Alright, I am so close to the end of this pregnancy I can hardly stand it! It sucks not knowing when and basically being told that you could have the baby anywhere between 37 and 41 weeks…that is a HUGE time frame. I am still sticking to my goal and working out 5-6 days a week, but I have got to say that I’m ready to be done with my pregnancy workouts! It is tough stuff at this point.

I’m somehow still pushing through the Asylum Volume 2 with Husband (with LOTS of modifications…I basically run in place, do lots of push-up, squats and planks and just try to keep moving for the full hour). Anyways, but what I much prefer doing, and still squeeze in on our “off days” is prenatal yoga. Now, that I only have a few weeks left (supposedly) I am trying to incorporate more and more yoga to my workouts before the little one arrives.

Need to know why yoga is an awesome exercise for pregnant women (and all people)? There are LOTS of reasons, here’s a few:

Yoga helps you and teaches you to relax, helps you stay fit, teaches you to breathe properly (helpful during labor), improves sleep, decreases anxiety, increases strength, reduces lower back pain, can prevent nausea, lessens the risk of preterm labor, keeps you flexible, improves balance and aids circulation.

Convinced? Then, try some of my favorite yoga poses! Here’s my 10 Minutes (or more) of Prenatal Yoga. 

Hold each pose for a minute!

(Oh, and I took these photos in the nursery before we were even close to being finished, AND I thought it would be cool to look all natural with no makeup and messy hair, but turns out to not look so cool..oh well!)

1. Chair

chair pose

2. Tree

tree pose

3. Traingle

triangle

4. Half-Moon

half moon

5. Warrior 1

warrior1

6. Warrior 2

warrior2

7. Warrior 3

warrior 3

8. Pigeon

pigeon

*You should put your head down over your leg to complete this pose.

9. Cat and Cow

I looked absolutely horrendous in the photos of “cat and cow” so those will not be included. You can click here to see what it should look like.

10. Butterfly

butterfly

Don’t forget to be safe when working out while pregnant!

prenatal exercise

If you liked this “10 Minute Workout”, then be sure to check out 10 Minute Prenatal Ab and Core, 10 Minute Prenatal Arms and 10 Minute Prenatal Booty!

Namaste yall!

*Update: Since having Luna, I’ve created more “10 Minute workouts with a toddler“. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you and your new little one can continue exercising and having fun together!

Oh, and Cheers!

The Last 9 Months

me and luna

I’m 3 weeks and one day postpartum and still feeling better every day. Yay me! I just went through some of my old photos from throughout my pregnancy and it’s amazing to see the transformation from then until now. I loved being pregnant! I had such a great pregnancy that I thought I’d be sad and miss it once it was over. I do miss parts of it already, but I’ve got to say having Luna here is far better!

Here’s a little TBT (throwback Thursday) for ya!

10 and 14 17 and 21 24 and 28 32 weeks 35 and 37

I think my hair changed just as much as my stomach. I’m so glad I took so many photos. It’s so easy to forget the changes each month and especially how my body looked at the very beginning.

collage

AANNDDDDD….3 weeks later!

3 weeks

Can’t wait to see what’s in store for our growing family!

Cheers!

Luna’s Birth Story: A Not-So-Magical Experience

luna

In case you haven’t heard, we had our baby! Luna Hazel was born on Wednesday January 29th at 12:11pm. She weighed 5 lbs 14 oz and was 18.5 inches long. A perfect bundle of blonde hair and beautiful joy. She could not be a happier, prettier, healthier or better baby, and for that we are SO grateful.

However, her birth was far from perfect and was nothing like I ever would have imagined it. Before giving birth this is exactly what I hoped and imagined delivering our baby would be like….

Contractions would start and I would breathe through them at home for a while. I would do my makeup and hair, eat a big meal and try to relax until contractions got closer together. Once we arrived to the hospital, I would use the labor tub, the labor balls, the labor bar, etc, etc to get through the pain and try to not get an epidural. I’m not necessarily anti-epidural, but I wanted to try to go without one and be free to walk about and do what I please. I hate being attached to anything in a hospital. Anyways, after a few hours, we’d have our baby, a room full of people who love us and all would be right in the world. The end.

Here is what actually happened….

Last Tuesday, I had my regular 37 week check-up at my OBGYN at 8:30am. I felt normal and excited to hear if there were any changes. As the nurse took my blood pressure she looked a little concerned and took it again…and again. Then, she had another nurse come over and take it once more. They asked if my head hurt or if my vision was blurry…it wasn’t. They asked if I felt okay, and I said “Not anymore!” After, the doctor looked me over they told me to “relax” (yeah right) and they’d take my vitals again. The doctor then came in and told me I probably have toxemia and I need to go straight to the hospital…do not go home, do not pass go and collect $200… go directly to the hospital.

OKAY…if you are new to Positively Panicked, allow me to give you a quick description of myself: I have very high anxiety and panic attacks. My triggers are hospitals, sicknesses and high blood pressure. Also, my health during the entire pregnancy was perfect, so this all came as quite a shock.

A little scared, I called Husband to meet me there and drove myself to the hospital where the fun really began. I arrived at 10am and after being observed and tested for a few hours they decided to induce me at 2pm. Toxemia and preeclampsia had been ruled out, but my blood pressure kept getting higher. No one really knows why. So, they started me on pitocin and let the contractions begin. Eventually, my blood pressure only go higher so they put me on magnesium.

When they decided to put me on magnesium I had already been in labor for several hours, was shaken up and scared and really sick of having my blood pressure constantly taken. I was not allowed to eat or drink and was STARVING. (I had a yogurt and half a banana before my OBGYN appointment that morning…and that was it.)  Then, the nurse tells me that magnesium will keep me from having a stroke or seizure, but will make me feel like crap. She said I’d have to have a catheter, stay lying on my left side, I’d feel woozy, get a bad headache and have hot flashes and chills. Awesome, because the situation really wasn’t crappy enough already. Boy, was she right…magnesium makes you feel awful.

At 1am I was dilated to 2cm. I wanted to hurt someone when I heard this. 2cm? Only 2!? I’d already been in labor for almost 12 hours! And, being induced is really not a fun type of labor. They suggested I get an epidural, my first reaction was “no”, but the nurse told me I’d probably be in labor for 12 more hours and reminded me that I’m already stuck in the bed and connected to a million tubes and IV’s, so I said, “Let’s do it.” They also had me wear an oxygen mask the rest of the time.

The epidural made me sick at first (who knew I could feel worse?), but not long after it began working and I actually felt some relief. I even slept a little. Fast forward about 11 hours and I was FINALLY fully dilated and effaced. Now, I was scared. Scared to push, scared to deliver a baby, scared about my high blood pressure, but I was also ready. I wanted to get this over with. I wanted to have my baby, have my blood pressure drop back to normal and get the heck out of my worst nightmare.

Husband, was amazing, never left my side, held me, took photos and coached me through everything. After being in labor for over 22 hours, I only pushed for 25 minutes and our little Luna entered the world. We cried and just stared at her in disbelief because all of a sudden there she was… it was the most surreal experience.

tear untouched

First family photo
First family photo

I’m so glad I got an epidural because it probably kept my blood pressure at bay during delivery, AND I had a pretty bad perineal tear that I luckily did not have to feel get stitched. I wish this was the end. I wish I could tell you that we got cleaned up, stayed the night and then came home to be parents, but it is so far from the end. My blood pressure would not drop. I had to be kept on magnesium for another 24 hours (still no food, water or ability to get out of the bed). I could not enjoy any visitors because I was so scared, miserable and uncomfortable. Thank God, I got to keep Luna with me and breastfeed right away, but it wasn’t easy after not eating for over 48 hours.

Her body temperature was low for the first couple of hours so they had to take her and heat her up under lights for a little while. They also bathed her and put a tiny bow on her head!
Her body temperature was low for the first couple of hours so they had to take her and heat her up under lights for a little while. They also bathed her and put a tiny bow on her head!

The next day, I was taken off magnesium and allowed to eat, but still stuck in the hospital because my bp was still too high. To make a very long story slightly shorter I’ll just say I was kept in the hospital for 9 nights and 10 days. I felt as if I was tortured and forced to live a nightmare for hours on end. I couldn’t eat for about 5 days due to lack of appetite, nerves and medications. I couldn’t have visitors some days. My anxiety is through the roof. I’m on 3 different blood pressure medications for the time being and have had so many panic attacks over the last week it’s unreal. I was so weak upon being released I could only walk about 30 feet before almost passing out. I am still terrified and trying so hard to keep my mind thinking positively.

Besides, the physical ailments, I am emotionally drained. My hormones are all over place. I cry at everything. I know I am so lucky and blessed to have this beautiful baby and the BEST Husband ever (he never left my side for  the entire 10 days…not once).  At the same time, I am crushed that our first couple of weeks as parents has been so traumatic. I just want to be a mother. I am depressed about being on so much medication and I am really afraid of going back to the doctor this week to check everything.

Luna is perfect. She had jaundice and had to be in the incubator looking thing for a day, but other than that she is perfectly healthy and the most content little baby.

jaundice

There were a couple of times that Mommy was not able to breastfeed so Daddy took over with formula.
There were a couple of times that Mommy was not able to breastfeed so Daddy took over with formula.

It’s amazing now to look back to two weeks ago…I was so upset that our nursery wasn’t finished, our newborn photos weren’t scheduled, worried about stretch-marks and gaining too much weight… everything seems so silly now. None of that stupid stuff matters, at all. Our nursery is still unfinished and it’s the last thing on my mind. All of a sudden life has been put in a whole new perspective.

I want to scream “this isn’t FAIR! I’m young, I’m the epitome of health! I’m a vegetarian! I workout 6 days a week! Why is this happening to me?!?!?!” But, Husband has reminded me that it is fair. It’s life. And, I’m lucky. I am here, I am getting stronger and healthier each day. I have a healthy baby. I have a healthy Husband. I have a beautiful home. We have awesome supportive family and friends who have cared for us, brought us food, cleaned our house, watched our pets, prayed for us and supported us in so many ways. Things could be a lot worse.

I don’t know how much I’ll be writing over the next couple of weeks, but I have so much more to share and will definitely be updating as soon as life gets a little more normal.

Thank you all so much for your thoughts, prayers, encouraging messages and positive vibes sent our way. You have no idea how much we appreciate them. Please keep them coming.

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Cheers

Finally A Nice Day!

GarrisonCreek

This past Sunday was GORGEOUS.

 

Like, most of the U.S., Tennessee has been freezing for what feels like an eternity now. The worst part is that it has been in the single digits with zero precipitation. It should be illegal to be that cold with no snow. What’s the point? No one wants to go out in play in dry 7 degree weather, so we have felt as if we are under house arrest. I’ve enjoyed the hot soups, tea and warm fires, but we have felt stir crazy lately.

But, Sunday was nice. Sunday it was sunny, blue clear skies and 55 degrees outside! It felt like summer. It’s amazing how warm 55 can feel after it’s been only 4 degrees. There was no way we were going to waste the day indoors, so we decided a hike was in order and headed off the the Natchez Trace. We found ourselves back on Garrison Creek trail, where Husband and I hiked back in the fall. This time, we found a different section we’d yet to explore.

natchez trace tree

The lookout
The lookout

Since I am now 37 weeks pregnant, enormous and uncomfortable I assumed we would hike about a mile before I got too worn out, or had to pee and then have to go home. I don’t know why I ever considered this a possibility. Did I forget who I was married to? We ended up hiking 3 miles, which really isn’t that bad…if you are not about to have a baby. I tried to be a trooper for the most part, but we did take a break halfway through so I could sit and rest.

37 weeks and 1 day pregnant...20 days to go!
37 weeks and 1 day pregnant…20 days to go!

hiking moss

Towards the end of the hike we came to a creek that we were supposed to cross, but the bridge had been demolished and the water was half-frozen over. Our friends and I decided to stay on our side of the river and follow where the trail should lead, like any logical person would do. Husband, of course, managed to get across the river, not once, but twice because the other bridge at the end of the trail was also demolished.

The first broken bridge.
The first broken bridge.
Belle probably had the best time.
Belle probably had the best time.

spikes

It was such a pretty day. I could feel the sun on my skin and actually enjoy being outdoors. Even some of the plants looked beautiful, which I didn’t expect during the dead of winter. We had a really nice time just walking, chatting and enjoying the scenery. By the end, I was done and hoping I’d somehow convinced Luna she was done too.

Belle was exhausted! She immediately climbed into the carseat and rested the whole way home.
Belle was exhausted! She immediately climbed into the carseat and rested the whole way home.

Back home, Husband and I worked out for another half-hour. I’m doing whatever I can to convince this baby that it’s time to come out and meet us. So far, she still seems happy where she is, but I’m excited to see what the doctor will say today!

Cheers!

37 Weeks = Full Term

37 weeks

Holy cow! I am 37 weeks pregnant today and considered full term! Basically, Luna could arrive anytime between today and 3 weeks from now…4 weeks if I’m unlucky. I CANNOT wait! Every little twinge, pain, cramp or movement makes me freeze in my tracks and wonder “is it starting?” There’s no way of knowing, but we can check the stats and see how everything is progressing!

21 more days

How far along? 37 weeks

Weight Gain? 25 pounds

Belly Button? Umm, gross. My belly button was exactly in the middle before getting pregnant, ALL the way out at about 20 weeks, ridiculous at 30 weeks and now..well now it’s so stretched out that it’s almost flat again! It is so freaky and I’m scared it will never be normal again.

Stretch Marks? Sadly, a few have popped up around my belly button. I did all the tips and tricks: lots of moisturizer, slow and steady weight gain…but, I still got em’. Oh well, it’s all a part of the package and I’m cool with that.

Rings on or off? On, no swelling for me!

Looking forward to? Still looking forward to getting the nursery done! Carpet will be installed on Monday! Woohoo!

Missing Most? Fitting into clothes. We went to the mall yesterday just to walk around and play at Sephora and I was sooo envious of all the non-pregnant girls shopping for cute clothes.

Other Symptoms? Every pregnancy symptom I never had seems to have hit me this week: leg cramps, dry skin, weird spots, weird cramping, dizziness, etc. Also, my “pregnancy brain” is severe. I cannot focus on anything. I can barely hold a conversation. Just hanging out with friends feels challenging.

Emotions? All over the place. One minute I’m super excited to meet Luna, the next I’m terrified about going into labor. Or, one moment I feel beautiful and awesome, then 2 seconds later I feel disgusting and huge. Pregnancy is a crazy thing.

Exercise? Still going strong! I am still working out 6 days a week and feeling super proud of myself. It gets harder every single day, but I know it will be worth it.

Today, I had a little too much time on my hands and after seeing Gwen Stefani’s beautiful baby bump photo that’s gone viral, I decided I wanted to take one too. I happened to have a very similar outfit so I spent way too much time recreating the photo, but it was a lot of fun to do.

gwenyth

Our little girl will be here any day now! Oh, and don’t forget about my PinkBlush Maternity gift card giveaway! If you haven’t entered to win just comment on my previous blog and I’ll announce the winner on Monday!

Cheers!

Finding the Time to Exercise

find time

Throughout my pregnancy I have preached and preached to you that it is SO important, for both you and the baby, to stay fit and healthy. I stand by this belief (I mean, it is backed up by TONS of research) BUT, I must admit that I have had an unfair advantage over most Moms/people out there.

Before getting pregnant, I was working full-time…more than full time most weeks and blogging. Before that I was working full-time and working 2 part-time jobs. Prior to that I worked full-time and went to school full-time…you get the picture. I was busy. I tried my best to stay active and fit during these years, and for the most part I was successful. I was in a good habit and really had only to take care of myself. Typically, I squeezed in at least 4 days of real workouts and then did my best to squeeze in mini-workouts when I could. I wasn’t always the healthiest eater (still not), but I do all right on that end of the spectrum too.

Once I became pregnant, my entire life took a huge shift. I moved, got a house and quit my job the same week I found out about the baby…not because of the baby, things just happened that way. Then, once life kind of settled, we decided that being a stay-at-home Mom was the best plan for us (we think) and that I will just work part-time until our baby girl comes.

I am working 3 part-time jobs (subbing, tutoring and blogging), but this is nothing compared to teaching full-time. Perhaps, I shouldn’t say “nothing”, but it’s much less stressful, gives me a lot more free time and my schedule is all of a sudden super flexible. Clearly, I have had more time to focus on my health, the baby, keeping fit and a myriad of other things that I once just had no time to enjoy. This probably has a lot to do with my lack of panic attacks as well.

Recently, I was feeling my usual feelings of guilt for not being too busy, stressed and tired, and considering if I should look into full-time work for next year. I thought about what my life would have been like this year if I had gotten a full-time teaching job and I quickly realized my pregnancy would probably have been a hell of a lot different.

I am 100% sure my anxiety would not be gone…it is always worse (like WAY worse) when teaching. I would not be exercising everyday. Ain’t no teacher got time for that…we bring home hours of work every night. And, I certainly would not be able to keep up eating as healthy as I am now.  My “teacher lunches” often consisted of frozen dinners or canned soup…or worse…Ramen.

I also realize that I am very fortunate to have the option to not work full-time. Not every Mom is able to (or wants to) do this, which is great really. We need working Moms being bad-ass examples for our daughters. However, I still want to encourage Moms of all types, working, non-working, healthy, non-active, trying-to-be-healthier Moms to be the best they can be and include a bit more physical activity into their life. It might seem impossible to squeeze in just one more thing to your busy schedule, but I know you can do these little things!

Here’s what I did to squeeze in extra cardio or resistance training whenever I felt I had no time. I still do many of these now too!

-take the stairs, no elevators!

-Park in the back at all stores.

-Do 10 squats every time you go the restroom.

-Do commercial workouts. I KNOW you are making time to watch your favorite shows! That’s fine, but when a commercial comes on do sit-ups, run in place, do jumping jacks or stretch.

-OR workout as your watch your fav show. Nothing like multi-tasking

-Walk during your lunch break. I used to walk around the playground while my students had recess…if I wasn’t grading a stack of papers.

-Get up 5 minutes early and use that time to do anything active, or even some morning yoga.

-Sit on a stability ball at work.

-Walk everywhere you can.

-Put on music while you clean and dance to it. Every little bit helps and this is a fun way to clean and get in some cardio. OR, better yet, make someone else clean, then you’ll have time to workout! (The dream, right?)

-Make family time an active time. It’s important to spend time with our loved ones, but instead of always watching a movie or going out to dinner, try something more physical. Go for a walk, a bike ride, a hike, a swim, play at the park, etc.

-Drink water ALL the time. I realize this isn’t an exercise, but I guarantee you will feel better.

-Do calf raises while you wash dishes.

-Do squats or plies as you brush your teeth.

See, it’s not SO hard to squeeze in some physical fitness time. I realize a lot of these are silly, but I swear you’ll feel better if you try them on your busy days. You’ll be proud that you got in some exercise. Not only will you feel better physically, but you’ll feel better emotionally too. Exercise has helped my anxiety so much over the years!

Best of luck to ya, you busy ladies…and gents!

Cheers!