Winter’s 10 Month Update

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BABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 10 months old

(All as of August 10, 2014)

Baby’s Age: 10 months old

Height: 27.5 inches

Weight: 19 lbs

Diaper Size: Size 3

Clothes Size: 9 months and a few 12 months

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Here is a look back at the past few months:

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Here is Winter in her Bumbo:

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August 2014…We Moved!

Sorry this is posted so terribly late!  I have an excuse every.single.month.  This month I feel like my excuse is even more valid…we moved!  In fact, our moving day to our new house was August 10, the day that Winter turned 10 months.  So needless to say, I haven’t had a moment to spare for blogging.  Not only that, but we didn’t have internet hooked up until this past week, so there we go!

Why did we move?  Well, the true answer is this…our previous home was bought as our “starter home” aka “5-year-home.”  We owned it for 5 years and now have a baby, compared to just the two of us when we bought it.  Our yard was tiny, the house was tiny, and we were feeling cramped!  Since we plan to have another kid or two in the future (yes, I said FUTURE, not NOW!), we wanted to plan ahead and buy a house with more space and a bigger yard.  Done!  Our new house has 2600 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms (2 full, 2 half), a finished basement and a big back yard.  We are absolutely LOVING this house!  It has been very busy considering we are DIYers, so we have been tackling projects ourselves.

Packing and moving with a mobile baby sure was an experience.  I utilized naptimes as much as possible.  Packing seemed like an endless job!  On moving day, we had some friends from church babysit Winter all day, so that we could focus all of our energy and effort into loading and unloading the truck.  That was so helpful to be babyless on moving day.  Unpacking at the new house was tricky for the first several days as there were many non-babyproofed danger zones to combat!  Thankfully, after we got a little more organized, put some outlet covers on and installed baby gates, the unpacking process went smoother.  We still have unpacking yet to do, but I imagine that will be the case for a few months to come!  One thing I love about our new house is that we have a 100% baby proof play room for Winter.  It is so wonderful to be able to let her play and make a mess to her heart’s content and not have to worry about her getting into unsafe things.  Every mom should have a baby proof play room in their house!

Winter is growing and getting smarter day by day.  She is very mobile.  She’s an expert crawler (started crawling at 8.5 months) and is pulling herself up onto everything.  She can also cruise (walking around while holding onto objects).  I doubt she’s close to walking just yet–I could see her walking somewhere around 12 months.  Since she is so mobile, she keeps me busy and on my toes!  I rarely have a chance to sit down.  I love it, though!

Her big thing these days is clapping.  It’s her favorite thing!  She claps all of the time.  Since Winter is such a happy girl, she expresses her happiness or joy by clapping when she likes something.

We were slow going on teeth, but now she seems to be catching up.  She got her second tooth, so now she has two teeth on the bottom center.  Her little teeth look so precious.  Thankfully, I have yet to feel a bite from those teeth while breastfeeding.  🙂

We were able to do Winter’s baby dedication at my parent’s church in Indiana.  It was really special.  Since we live in Colorado and don’t have our families here, doing the dedication in Indiana at my home church was really neat.  It was the church where Eric and I were married, and my youth pastor who married us was the one to do Winter’s dedication too.  How special.  Not only that, but it was extremely memorable to us that both Eric’s family and my family were able to not only be present, but joined us up on stage!  Every single one of our parents and siblings was there.  What a blessing.

Milestones: Crawling, pulling up on things, cruising, talking a lot (mama, dada, meow, da for dog, and other various sounds), clapping, has 2 teeth.

Sleep: Sleeping great!  2 daytime naps and 12 hours at night.  (Naps: 9:30-11:30am, 2:30-4:30pm and nighttime: 8pm-7:30am.)

Best Moment: Winter’s baby dedication at church.

Worst Moment: None.

Health:  Excellent!

Eating:  Winter is currently nursing 4 times per day and eating 3 solid meals.  She is a fantastic eater and there isn’t anything she doesn’t like (besides tomatoes).  It’s so nice to be able to feed her regular foods.  She eats what we eat, just chopped up into small pieces.

My breastfeeding plan has always been to nurse until a year old.  As that is approaching, I plan to get to 12 months and then reevaluate at that point what I’d like to do.  Winter is still as excited about nursing as ever, and I’m in no hurry to wean…so I could see us continuing past 12 months.  She currently nurses 4 times per day, and I plan to drop one feeding when she turns 11 months.  At 12 months, I will drop another feeding, so she will be down to two nursing’s per day (upon waking up and before bed).  I could continue with two nursing’s for forever, so easy!  Winter and I have such a bond, so we might go to 13 months or longer.  Neither of us is ready to say goodbye to this chapter!

Likes: Clapping, jabbering, making cat “meow” sounds, getting into everything, feeling soft textures.

Dislikes: Diaper changes, getting dressed after a bath.

How Mommy is doing: Not gonna lie, I have felt a wee bit overwhelmed these past few months.  Moving has been a lot!  Now life can slow down as we get settled.  Summer is coming to a close and Winter’s 1st birthday is right around the corner.  I want to cry just thinking about that!  Ha!   I am in training for my October half marathon.  Running is going well.  This race I am training for and running solo.  It is a luxury to be able to do my weekend long runs ALONE!  No stroller!  As much as I love my BOB stroller, it’s so freeing to be able to go outside and run without ANYTHING!  Woohoo!  Plus, since I’m training alone, I get to ulitize weekend naptime to go out and run while Eric is at home.  Overall, life is great.  Winter is great.  Being a mom is incredible.  I LOVE IT!

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Post Baby Body – 5 Month Update

Happy 5 months to Winter and happy 28th birthday to me today!  I am working on Winter’s 5 month update that will be posted this week, but for now it’ time to get an up-to-date glance at Mommy’s postpartum progress in relation to health and fitness!

Here is how I’m looking now:

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Here is a comparison of last month versus this month:

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 And here is a look back:

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28 years old today…I can’t believe I’m just 2 years shy of 30, which is exciting!  I think 30 is a fun age to be.  Not only am I marking a new age today, we are also celebrating Winter turning 5 months old.  She is such a sweet little girl.  My baby is much less of a newborn and much more of an interactive sweet baby girl!

I’ve continued making great progress in regards to my post baby body.  At 5 months postpartum, I weigh less than I did when I got pregnant, my jeans are all fitting me better than they have in a long time, and I even am able to wear some of my size 4 jeans that haven’t been able to fit me for several years!  It feels really great to whip my body into better shape than it was when I first got pregnant.  I wasn’t happy with my pregnancy starting weight, so now I have taken control of my fitness and am getting close to my goal: getting back to my wedding weight from 2008.  I’m almost there!!

If you missed my previous “Post Baby Body” updates, you can catch up here:

2 Month Post Baby Body Update

3 Month Post Baby Body Update

4 Month Post Baby Body Update

WEIGHT LOSS

To date I’ve lost 38 pounds.  Wow!  I lost another 5 lbs since my 4 month update in February.  I’m getting so close to my goal weight!  My goal weight is my wedding weight from 6 years ago 🙂

EATING

My calories are logged every day on myfitnesspal app on my phone.  I’m eating anywhere from 2000-2200 calories per day.  Previously I had reduced my caloric intake to 1900 and I found that it was unrealistic for me.  Giving myself an extra hundred (or two or three!) calories makes me feel like I’m able to relax a little bit more.  Obviously I’ve still been able to lose weight even though I increased my calories a bit.  Breastfeeding really helps me be able to eat this much and still lose weight!!  During the first week of March, I participated in a “7 Day Clean Eating Challenge.”  During the entire week I only ate clean foods: mainly fruits, vegetables and chicken.  It was kind of fun to “clean out” my body and focus on consuming zero processed or sweetened foods for an entire week.  It was hard at some points, but overall I enjoyed the experience.  It got me to eat a lot more vegetables than I’m used to eating.  I made tons of fruit smoothies, which were absolutely delicious.  After a week of 100% only clean foods, I feel lighter, fresher, and more energetic!

WORKING OUT

I workout 5-6 days per week (usually 6).  I’m pretty much mostly running for the main source of my exercise.  We are 4 weeks out from our half marathon, and yesterday we did a 9 mile training run.  I felt GREAT on this run!  My gym days are almost nonexistent.   I am making it there barely once per week.  But the reason is because I’d much rather run outside or workout at home because it saves so much time.  When I go to the gym, I am restricted to evenings (so that Eric is home and can watch Winter) and I also waste 20-30 minutes roundtrip commuting=dumb!  So I run outside, run on my treadmill, do kickboxing DVD in my livingroom and use my stability ball for exercise.  My half marathon training has me running 3-4 times per week (2-3 shorter runs of 4-5 miles and one long run on the weekends).  The non running days are either gym (approx. 1 time per week) or a kickboxing DVD.

GOALS

I want to successfully complete my half marathon in 4 weeks from now!  I don’t know that I’ll achieve a new PR (personal record), but if I do, I would be absolutely thrilled!!

REALITY CHECK

Life isn’t going to go perfectly 100% of the time and sometimes I’m going to miss workouts.  No biggie.  We all got sick in this house recently.  When I was sick I had to take a break from running for several days to allow my body the time to rest so I could recuperate.  With my personality, it’s difficult for me to slow down and relax/take a break from fitness.  But it was good that I took a few days off.  We had to skip our long weekend training run–but honestly it was perfect timing because both weekend days that particular weekend were snowing and too cold to take a baby out.  Such is life…sometimes we need a break.

I’m glad that I have a healthy mentality about my body.  This has not always been the case.  Years ago, I struggled with negative self-talk and basing my self worth on what the scale said.  To help my disordered mentality, I put away the scale for about 5 years and didn’t weigh myself until a year ago when I started my pregnancy.  The scale and I are now in a healthy relationship with each other, praise God!  Instead of basing my value on how much I weigh or how I look, I now put my self worth in how Christ sees me–I am a daughter of the King!  God sees me and loves me no matter what size jeans I wear, so I choose to love me regardless of that too.  If you have struggles with negative self-talk and feeling insecure about yourself and your body, I encourage you — you aren’t alone!  Though it never 100% goes away, it can get better, and I find that viewing myself through God’s eyes has been very helpful for me.

Here is a comparison looking back (wearing the same top!):

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Post Baby Body – 3 Month Update

Today marks 13 weeks since I gave birth to my daughter.  So it’s time for another post-baby body update!  It’s so hard to believe that tomorrow she turns 3 months old.  Seriously, where has the time gone???  With the Christmas and New Years holidays, it feels that this past month has flown by.  I feel that I have continued to make progress with my body since last month, despite letting loose for the week of Christmas.  To date, I have lost a total of 27 pounds (4 lbs lost since a month ago).

Here is how I’m looking now:

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Here is a comparison of this month versus last month:

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I’m seeing and feeling changes!!  I love it!  My waist is still not as small as pre-pregnancy, but I am definitely seeing it get smaller since last month.  I’m doing a lot of ab work, and they are feeling tighter and stronger.  My legs are also feeling smaller.  I guess it would be helpful if I got my tape measure out, so I could look at some real numbers.  Haha!  Maybe I’ll do that, but realistically I probably won’t.  I don’t need to be obsessing over all of those numbers.  My boobs are going down.  Though I’m breastfeeding, my boobs have definitely reduced in size, which I can admit I’m happy about…I’ve never been a fan of big boobs!  Overall, I feel tighter and my stamina and endurance are increasing.  I’m happy with my progress this month, and hope to see more next month!

EATING

My eating has been pretty healthy.  That is, if you exclude the entire week of Christmas where I stuffed my face with loads of Christmas treats and goodies.  😦  We travelled 18 hours on the road (each way) to Indiana, and from the moment we left until the moment we returned, my eating was far from nutritious.  I believe that set me back a little bit, but as soon as I got home, I got right back to working out and eating healthy.  I use MyFitnessPal app on my phone to track my daily calories.  In early December, I cut back from 2100 calories per day to 1950.  As of this week, I cut back to 1900 per day.  As long as I don’t dip below 1800 per day, it shouldn’t affect my milk supply.  I try to eat a lot of healthy foods, avoiding sweets and overly processed junk.

WORKING OUT

Over the week of Christmas, I only got one day of exercise in: running in the freezing cold on snow-covered back country roads.  Besides that week, my workouts have been very consistent!  I workout on Sunday through Fridays, averaging 6 workouts per week.  I hit the gym in the evenings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and run on my treadmill at home on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.  I have focused mainly on doing lots of cardio and abdominal exercises.  I am desperate to get my small waist and strong abs back!  Unfortunately I have not done tons of weight training yet, but I am limited by how much time I have at the gym since I’m on a schedule for feeding my baby.  I need to figure out how to get more weights in my workouts!

GOALS

I have successfully lost my pregnancy pounds (plus some), but I’d still like to continue to tighten up and lose more weight.  I am starting my 1/2 marathon training next week, and I have a goal to complete that race in April with a semi-decent time (maybe even a PR!).  I have a goal to complete my training program and not slack off.  I also have a goal to feel confident in a swimsuit this summer.  A short term goal is to lose another 5 pounds by 4 months postpartum.

REALITY CHECK

It’s emotionally tough for me to look at some of the negative changes in my body, the main one being a bigger waist than I used to have.  I know with hard work, I can get my abs back, but in the meantime it’s a struggle for me.  Most of my jeans and pants are fitting me, but they still feel somewhat snug in the waistbands, making me feel self-conscious.  I finally broke down and bought a pair of nice jeans in a bigger size.  I will wear these and rejoice as they start to get looser and looser, but for now, it makes me feel better.

Here is a comparison of the day after birth versus 3 months postpartum:

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Post Baby Body Update – 8 weeks postpartum

The female body is an amazing thing.  Not only does it create and carry a human life, it shrinks back down after birth!  At 2 months postpartum, here is my post-baby body progress thus far…

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I was 40 weeks +2 days pregnant when I gave birth to my daughter on October 10, 2013.  I gained a total of 23 pounds during my pregnancy.  I kept my weight gain under control by eating a healthy diet combined with exercise all the way throughout the end of pregnancy.  Currently, at 2 months out, I have lost exactly 23 pounds.  Though I’m back to my pre-pregnancy starting weight, my body still has a ways to go to get it back into the fit/toned shape I’d like to be back in.  I’m still carrying extra in my midsection.  Most of my pants/jeans fit, but they still are snug in the waistband.  I know that continuing to work hard with exercise will get be back into the form I’d like to end up in.

As I mentioned, I exercised all the way until the end of pregnancy.  I went for a run on my due date!  On the day I went in labor, I did a tough workout at the gym – I did the stairclimber, Jacob’s ladder, treadmill and lifted free weights.  I really tried hard to stay in shape during pregnancy.  I knew that once I gave birth, I’d have to take a bit of a break to let my body recover and heal.  I wanted to give myself at least 2 weeks to rest.

After giving birth, I started daily walks immediately.  My doctor said that this was totally acceptable for me to be walking so long as I felt up for it.  I took Baby Winter out in the BOB stroller for these daily walks of 45-60 minutes.  I felt great!

At the 2 week postpartum mark is when I started running.  It felt WONDERFUL to have some of that extra weight off of me.  At that point, I had already shed 15 pounds.  I felt incredibly light, yet I could feel how weak my ab muscles felt as I took each step.  My tendons/ligaments in my pelvic area felt very fragile and weak too.  My pace was slow, but I just felt so great to be back to it.  Because a newborn baby consumes your entire life, I only managed to do maybe 2 or 3 runs per week and that was the extent of my exercise.  I continued walking on all of the other days.

At my 6 week check up, my doctor cleared me to exercise normally, so that’s when I made my return to the gym.  Eric and I sat down and wrote a gym schedule so that we are BOTH able to get regular gym days in.  I get to go on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and he goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  On my non-gym days, I run outside with the BOB stroller or run inside on my treadmill (depending on the weather).  My running days are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

Originally when I bought my treadmill, we put it in the garage.  I found this to be very hard to stay motivated because the garage is cold and dark.  I had to stare at a blank wall while on the treadmill.  We just recently moved it into our bedroom so that I can watch TV while running on the treadmill.  This has been a smart decision because it makes me so much more motivated to stay on the treadmill for longer!  I love having a distraction while exercising!

As far as eating goes, I use an app on my phone (MyFitnessPal) to track my daily calories as well as my exercise.  I try to eat somewhere in the range of 1900-2100 calories per day.  Because I am breastfeeding, it is crucial that I don’t drop my calorie consumption too much.  If I drop much lower than 1800 per day, it would inhibit my milk supply…not worth it!  Eating around 2000 calories per day is still allowing my milk supply to stay strong as well as allowing me to lose weight.

Now, here is a look at my daily-weekly body progress:

IN LABOR…LAST PREGNANCY PIC!

Here is my last photo while I was pregnant!

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MORNING AFTER BIRTH…

This is the morning after giving birth.  I thought I looked SO SKINNY already–now I look back and realize I still looked pregnant here.

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2 DAYS POSTPARTUM…

On this day we got discharged from the hospital.  I felt really swollen.  My fingers, feet, etc were all retaining water.  But I still was amazed at how fast it felt like my tummy was going down.

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3 DAYS POSTPARTUM…

This was our first full day at home and I started going for my 45-60 minute daily walks at this point to get my body moving.

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4 DAYS POSTPARTUM…

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6 DAYS POSTPARTUM…

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 8 DAYS POSTPARTUM….

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 10 DAYS POSTPARTUM….

I remember that I felt like a million bucks by this point.  It felt incredible to be losing weight and watching the number on the scale rapidly dropping.  My swollen days were far behind me.  I wanted to start exercising, but I promised myself I’d take at least 2 weeks off.

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12 DAYS POSTPARTUM…

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2 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

This is when I went on my first run!  I was hoping to start working out and running 5 days per week, but that didn’t happen.  I was lucky to get in 2-3 runs per week and that’s about it.  Though I did keep up with my daily walks on the days I didn’t run.  I had lost 15 pounds by this point.

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3 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

I still was only scraping by with daily walks and 2-3 runs per week, but the pounds were still coming off.

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5 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

Walking daily and 2-3 runs per week was the name of the game.  My weight loss really staggered, but I was down about 19 pounds at this point.

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6 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

We traveled to Florida to see my husband’s work project launch into space.  I wore a maternity swimsuit because I was too self conscious to put on any of my regular bikinis.  Not only did I still feel that my tummy had a ways to go, but My boobs didn’t fit into a single one of my swimsuit tops!  They looked like porn star boobs.  I guess breastfeeding will do that 🙂

As soon as I returned from Florida, I made my return to the gym.  It felt great to get in other types of exercise besides just running.  I like using the Arc Trainer machine and other cardio machines that the gym has.  I also started lifting weights and doing ab exercises.

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7 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

With my return to the gym, combined with running (4-6 days per week of exercise, depending on the week), I noticed the scale got moving again.  I was hovering right around my pre-pregnancy weight, though my body was still NOT even close to what it used to be.  My waistbands in my jeans are still tight.

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8 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

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2 MONTHS POSTPARTUM…

At 2 months postpartum, I have been working out at the gym 3 times per week and running 3 times per week.  It feels great to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I’d like to continue working hard to get my body back.  I know that with more time and hard work, I’ll reach my goals.  I started my pregnancy at a higher weight than I’d have liked, so I want to lose a number of pounds in addition to toning up.  I hope to be back in rockin’ shape by the 6 month mark.  In fact, at the 6 month mark I am signed up to run a half marathon (in April).  I will start formally training for the race in January.

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BUMP REPORT – 40 Weeks

ImagePREGNANCY WEEK 40

Here we are at 40 weeks.  I honestly did not think there would STILL be a baby in my belly at this time.  With the way I have been feeling for the past few weeks, I was dead-on sure that our baby was fully cooked and ready to make her appearance before her due date.  With the amount of super frequent/strong Braxton Hicks contractions and other “labor signs” I have been experiencing, I was just SURE this baby was coming a few times within the past week.  Guess I was wrong.  Now technically the “official” due date is Tuesday (when calculating it originally, some charts put me to Oct 7th and some put me to Oct 8th).  I have always been in the habit of writing weekly blog updates on Mondays…so I guess there is still a chance she could be born on time.  At around 37 and 38 weeks I was freaking out because I didn’t feel mentally “ready” for baby girl’s birth yet.  Then there was a 180.  When I hit 39 weeks, I all the sudden was “READY!”  This past week has been an emotional battle of ups and downs as I kept thinking that “this is it” or “tomorrow is definitely the day!”  Talk about feeling frustrated.  I know she will be here any day, but I am mentally SO OVER IT!  I just want her here.  So does Daddy.  If there is a 41 week blog update — I will be beyond annoyed, HAHA!  Please pray that this baby comes.

Here is a month-by-month recap of Baby Lute’s bump progress….

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…And a look at some of my pictures that include the size-comparisons…

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….and here are all of the pregnancy weeks below!  Started with a plum and ended with a pumpkin!

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My age: 27

How far along: 40 weeks

How big is baby: the size of gallon of milk.  She is approximately 19-22 inches long and weighs 7.5-8 pounds.

What have you been up to: This week had much less on the calendar than the previous week, which was MUCH NEEDED.  It allowed me down time to relax and take it a bit easier.  I had a chance to get together with three different girlfriends all on separate days.  I also had the opportunity to re-read labor & delivery chapters in several of my pregnancy books.  Eric and I went on our weekly date this weekend, we tried a new restaurant called the Hurricane Grill.  It is a beachy/surfer theme place — so much fun.  It was delicious food too!  I got grilled chicken sliders with a HOT sauce called “the boss” (and no, the spicy food didn’t induce labor).  Also this week we made a belly cast (I’ll talk more about that in a minute).

At my O.B. appointment last Wednesday, the doctor was pleasantly surprised that things really seem to be progressing nicely.  When she did my cervical exam, she estimated I was 70% effaced and a good 2 cm dilated already!  She really seemed to think that labor could coming be any day….so that started getting my hopes up.  Ever since Wednesday I have been on this emotional rollercoaster thinking that the baby is finally coming!  On Thursday, I was just SURE it was the day.  And then Friday, same thing.  And NO–she hasn’t come yet.  I have been experiencing non-stop Braxton Hicks (some are very regular and even painful), but then they always end up stopping and never resulting in real labor.  And I am so exhausted of well-intentioned friends/people texting me asking for updates or to see if I am in labor yet.  Those text messages make me feel frustrated, because there is literally zero I can do to control this situation.  Yes, I want to be in labor, but no, I am not.  Stop asking.  I know people care and are excited, but it makes me feel defeated.  I finally started responding with “there is currently nothing to update on, and I will keep you posted when that changes.”  So if you happen to be someone who I have told that to, please take no offense, I am just really emotional and frustrated with my body.

Now, with all that emotional negativity out there, let’s focus on some fun!  Let’s talk about making a belly cast!  Over the weekend, instead of focusing my energy on the fact that I STILL wasn’t in labor yet, we decided to make a memento of this pregnant belly.

BELLY CAST.  I’ve seen people make molds of their pregnant bellies before and thought it was kind of a neat keepsake to have.  I was not sure I would end up doing something like that or not.  Well, I decided to do it — on the cheap was the only way!  I did not feel it necessary to buy one of those expensive kits, so if I could find an easy and cheap way to do it, I was all in.  And I did!  All I needed was a product I found at Michaels.  It is a “plaster wrap” or it can also be called “rigid wrap”…. it’s basically gauze that you dip in water and it hardens.  I spent less than $10 on this project and it turned out great.  Here is the tutorial I found to make mine: http://entergentlyblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/make-your-own-pregnant-belly-cast.html

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STEP 1: Cut a lot of strips of the gauze and lay them out.  I used 2 rolls.  Get out a shallow pan with warm water in it to dip the strips.

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STEP 2: Protect your skin with olive oil.  It felt really yucky to wipe cooking oil all over my skin, but it was worth it to protect my skin.  I also put plastic wrap over my pants since it was a messy project.  It also didn’t hurt to cover the table and floor too.

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STEP 3: Work quickly because these set up fast.  Have your husband/helper dip the strips of gauze in warm water and place them all over your belly.  Make sure you smooth out any air pockets.

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STEP 4: After putting 2 layers all over, allow it to set up and dry.  It will literally come away from your skin–don’t pull it off until it comes off on it’s own.

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STEP 5: After it comes off your skin, let it dry for a while — as in a few days.  It’s going to be really neat to have this keepsake in the future when I forget how big my belly was!

Exercise/Activity Level: I feel very proud that I’m still working out (and running) 6 days per week at 40 weeks pregnant!!  3 runs and 3 gym days.  I think that’s a real accomplishment.  It has been NO FUN working out this week as my body is kind of feeling “over it” at this point.  Somehow God gives you what you need to keep on going though.  At all 3 of my gym workouts this week (45 minutes cardio & 20 minutes weight lifting), each day there was at least one individual who approached me and gave me very nice compliments.  One day a lady walked up to me (while with 15 lb dumbbells over my head doing shoulder presses) and told me what a beautiful photo I’d make (a photo of a woman lifting weights while pregnant).  Another day a lady told me “you are so smart to be exercising during your pregnancy, girl.”  And another day, one of the young male personal trainers told me “You are doing such a great job.  I was watching you workout and you are doing so great — you will have no problem getting your body back after the baby is born.”  God used all 3 of those people this week because I really needed to hear some positive feedback with the way I was feeling.  I know all of this exercise is important and will pay off — I’m just READY to be done with pregnancy at this point.  My body just hurts.  Running somehow feels better than walking though, I still find that amazing.  (I think it may have something to do with my gait—I strive to be a toe/midfoot runner instead of a heel-striker.  I think that walking, a heel-striking gait, hurts my achy body worse than my midfoot/toe running gait.)

Maternity clothes:  Somehow my belly has gotten so huge that some of my shirts are having a hard time covering it up!

Stretch marks: Still none.

Belly Button: Outie.

Sleep: Sleeping really solid.  Thankfully.  At least I have that.  I’m taking advantage of the cliché “sleep as much as you can before the baby comes!”

Newest baby milestones this week: Baby is fully cooked.  Now just come on out, little girl!

Best Moment of the Week: At my doctor appointment after the nurse weighed me, she said “Wow, you haven’t gained any weight since July!”  I know this seems like a weird thing for me to be excited about, but I really feel proud that I have been able to keep my weight gain within a healthy amount (23 pounds).  It makes me so happy that after the baby comes out, I won’t have 50 extra pounds clinging to my entire body — hopefully just 13 pounds (I’ve heard 10 pounds is usually the amount lost during birth).  When I was 30 weeks pregnant, I was on a road to high-weight-gain with my habits at that time….it has taken a lot of work to remain firm in my decision to eat healthy.

Worst Moment of the Week: Getting into a miscommunication with my husband.  I hate those.  Thankfully we love each other.  A lot.

Food cravings: Apples with peanut butter.

Food aversions: None.

Symptoms: Strong and regular Braxton Hicks.  Baby feels very low in my pelvis.  I’ve been getting a lot of “menstrual pains” in my belly.  My sciatic nerve is KILLING me (left side of my low back that shoots pain down my left leg).  Feeling UNCOMFORTABLE and sometimes I can barely walk.

Movement: She is totally out of room.  But yet she still moves all over.  It’s uncomfortable at this point because she is so low in my pelvis that it sometimes feels like she could “fall out!”

Gender: Girl

What I’m looking forward to: Meeting baby girl!  Holding her in my arms for the first time.  I also can’t wait to see the look in Eric’s eyes when he finally gets to see her for the first time.  I have been experiencing this baby inside my body for 9 months, and once she is born he will FINALLY get to start experiencing her too.  I know he is so ready for that.  I just can’t wait to watch him as he finally gets to have that magic happen.  He is going to be the best dad EVER!

What I’m nervous about/praying for: Praying for a safe delivery for baby.  I hope things go smoothly and that a normal, uncomplicated vaginal delivery happens.

What I miss: Feeling like a normal human being.  I just want to be un-pregnant:)  I know, soon!

Next appointment: Tuesday, October 8th @ 3:45 P.M.

To-do list before baby’s arrival:  It’s an awfully short list this week:

-HAVE THE BABY!

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Pregnant Running — Run all the way until delivery?

Pregnancy Running – Run Until Delivery

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Running while pregnant.  I never thought I’d be the lady who is strong enough to be a pregnant runner.  Or a runner into my 3rd trimester of pregnancy.  Let alone potentially running all the way up until delivery!  At almost 39 weeks pregnant, it’s truly AMAZING that this body is still going.  I am starting to believe that I am indeed a strong lady — heck, I have continued to run regularly for my entire pregnancy!  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t proud of myself.

I have been a runner for years.  Just in 2012, I ran a number of races, including four half marathons, a 10-mile trail race and a number of 5K races.  When I became pregnant in January 2013, my goal was to have a healthy pregnancy.  The way I intended to maintain above-average health was by continuing to exercise and eat a nutritious diet.  Going into the pregnancy I had no complications or reasons that I shouldn’t be exercising, so I continued running as normally as I could on a regular basis.  Later, I will break down the three trimesters and what my exercise/running looked like during each of those phases.

Running while pregnant is NOT easy.  It’s only for those who are strong and determined.  Only for the extremely motivated.  Had I not been motivated and determined, I would have taken it easy a long time ago and settled for just walking.

To me, as long as there is no medical reason that prevents exercise during pregnancy, it’s a no brainer: EXERCISE!  It’s going to make a healthier baby and a healthier momma….  I understand that there are special circumstances or medical situations that do not allow an expectant mother to exercise; that is different.  Only exercise while pregnant with the medical clearance of an O.B. doctor.

First, let’s talk about some of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy:

1. Healthier baby & healthier momma.

2. Easier time getting through labor & delivery.  (Possibly even a shorter time laboring!)

3. Keeps pregnancy weight gain under control (healthy range for an average size woman is 25-35 pounds).

4. Gives more energy to expectant momma.

5. Keeps stress level under control.

6. Helps momma to “bounce back” and regain her previous shape after birth.

Here are the reasons I {THINK} have been able to run up until delivery:

-I listen to my body. This has been my #1 rule when it comes to running during my pregnancy.  If I were to push myself past the point of what my body is capable of doing, it would have benefited no one.  Listening to my body means this: if I can do it, then go for it…if I can’t do it, then slow down or stop.  At all stages of this pregnancy I have allowed myself the freedom to stop and take walking breaks during runs as necessary.  Do I like taking walking breaks??  My pride doesn’t, but sometimes my body needs them.  Listening to your body is KEY.

-I don’t run every single day. Years ago, I went through a phase where I ran six days per week.  I did that until I became injured.  I have found that running on alternating days is the best thing for my body.  This averages out to 3-4 days per week.  I do workout 6 days per week, but only half of those days are running workouts.  The other days are spent in the gym.

-I crosstrain.  At the gym I typically perform 40-45 minutes of cardio exercise (elliptical, arc trainer, rowing machine, bike, etc) and spend 20 minutes doing a variety of free weights/cable pulleys/weight machine exercises.  My weight training is usually performed in 3 sets of 12 repetitions at a heavy weight (no sissy stuff!)  By lifting weights on a regular basis, my overall body strength is much higher than if I were to only have performed cardio exercise.

-I kept my weight gain under control.  Most of my weight was gained in the 2nd trimester.  In the 3rd trimester I have gained almost nothing.  I guess everyone’s bodies are different.  At almost 39 weeks, I have gained 23 pounds, so I doubt I’ll top out at more than 25 (if that).  I think that keeping my weight gain under control, it has allowed my body to keep going because I’m not as heavy as, say, someone who gains 50 pounds during their pregnancy.  50 pounds gained + trying to run = won’t work.

-I wear a maternity support belt.  Mid-pregnancy (around 25 weeks), I began researching maternity support belts.  Several blogger friends were using the Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt for running, so I decided to give it a whirl.  At 27 weeks, my amazon purchase arrived in the mail and I was excited to try it out.  Talk about a major difference!  The belt is designed to support a growing belly and displace the impact to other areas.  Without my support belt, there would be NO WAY I could still be running.  It truly is amazing how well it helps keep my body feeling better and puts my mind at easy that the baby is safer.

-I don’t run far distances.  I’ve heard of these extreme runners who run full marathons at term….no way, this gal isn’t that big of a champion!  I have consistently ran a distance of 3-5 miles.  Never any more than that.  I’m sure some people could, but I never cared to push myself any further distance than that.  Now that I’m full term, some days I only run 2 or 2.5 miles…but I think that is to be expected.

-I accept that my running now barely resembles my pre-pregnancy running.  Before I got pregnant, my typical running pace averaged between 9-10 minute miles.  Usually I ran around 9:30/min/miles, but the better shape I was in, the more like 9:00/min/miles, and if I was in worse shape, I usually was never quite as slow as 10:00/min/miles pace.  This changed pretty drastically once I became pregnant.  I had to stop using my Nike Pro app on my phone.  Seeing just how much SLOWER I was running was killing my mojo, so I decided to just run based on feel.  This was smart, because I’m way too much of a perfectionist, so I didn’t need to hear my slower pace recited in my headphones.  In my 1st trimester I was still probably averaging 10:00/min/miles, 2nd trimester I slowed to (I’m guessing) 10:30-10:45min/miles and NOW at the end of my 3rd trimester I am running 11:45/min/miles.  WAY SLOW!  But—no matter how slow I am, I am just proud that I am still going.  Doesn’t matter that I’m slow:)

-I never stopped running.  I have maintained my 3 times per week running routine throughout the entire duration of the pregnancy.  I never took a week off.  Had I stopped and given myself a break, I might not have ever resumed.  It allowed my body the ability to adapt as my body and the baby grew.

-I have had the support of my doctor.  My doctor has been 100% supportive of my active lifestyle.  She spent time talking to me about all of the benefits for both me and the baby.  She also recommended that I “listen to my body” and take my level down if it became necessary.  At my appointments she asks if I’m still running and I see her excitement when I tell her I still am:)

What my running has looked like during the 3 trimesters of pregnancy:

1st Trimester.  I suffered from morning sickness throughout my first trimester.  Yuck!  I did not throw up a lot, but I did have constant nausea 100% of the time.  I felt extreme fatigue and overall awful.  It was hard to maintain a high level of fitness during that phase because I felt so awful.  But I did push myself to keep on going, even if it wasn’t pretty.  During the first trimester, I averaged 4-5 days per week of exercise, with at least two of those days being running days.  Because it was still winter, I did majority of those runs on the treadmill.

2nd Trimester.  During my second trimester is when I started to get my energy back, but as my weight increased, I felt heavier as I hit the pavement.  I ran a 5K race with some friends at 17 weeks and felt great.  Once I hit week 20 or so, I was really beginning to FEEL my weight gain.  I felt slower, but I continued to push on and listen to my body.  Somewhere around weeks 16-18 is when I started battling calf tightness.  That calf tightness has stuck around ever since, boo!  I think it has to do with my center of gravity affecting my running gait or from the added weight on my body.  Not sure.  Throughout this trimester, I maintained 6 days per week of exercise, with 3 of those days being running days.  Most of my running in this trimester was outdoors.

3rd Trimester.  When I got to the third trimester, I had a renewed sense of excitement for running since I had just started wearing my Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt.  I also felt really proud of myself that I was still continuing to run.  We moved to Florida for 6 weeks when I was 29 weeks pregnant, and my running actually improved between weeks 29-35!  I think it had something to do with being at sea-level instead of mile-high-altitude.  Because of the extreme heat & humidity of Florida, I did majority of the runs during weeks 29-35 indoors on the treadmill.  During those weeks I actually STOPPED taking walking breaks!!  I could consistently run 3.1 miles (5K distance) without ever stopping to walk.  I felt amazing and so EMPOWERED!!

Ever since returning home to Colorado, I have transitioned back to outdoor running, with the occasional indoor treadmill run.  As I am getting close to delivery, my runs are getting much harder day by day, but I just listen to what my body is telling me.  I am no longer able to run 3.1 miles without stopping for a walking break.  Sad, but it’s the truth.  Typically I make myself run the entire first mile without a walking break and then I allow myself to run in intervals of 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking until I have reached my final distance.  I usually try to run at LEAST 2-3 miles.  I’ve started staying close to home on my runs (JUST IN CASE!)  In the past two weeks I have been running laps around my neighborhood (boring, but then I’m not far from home in case I go into labor).  I calculated that 5 laps is 2 miles, so I try to run at least 5 laps (or add in more laps if I need to add walking breaks).  My calves continue to be extremely tight.   I just grin and bear it.  Here is to running all the way until delivery!

Getting to the end—delivery is near….

Summary.  With my due date looming in the near future, I have no intentions of ceasing running unless (God forbid) something happens.  My doctor has really been an encouragement to me.  At my appointment earlier this week she asked for an update to see if I was still running.  She was really excited to hear that I was.  Even though I can honestly say it’s not all that FUN to be running anymore, I want to keep going as long as I can — even if it’s just to “say that I did.”

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Disclaimer: These are just my own personal thoughts, opinions and personal experience.  I am not a doctor.  You should only exercise under the care of a doctor.  I am aware that there are situations where it is unsafe to exercise during pregnancy.  I also understand that when someone becomes pregnant, it is NOT the time to start up a brand new, intense routine.  The only way I was able to continue running is because I was ALREADY a runner before pregnancy.  I would never encourage someone to become a runner if they were not already doing so before their pregnancy.