My First Mother’s Day

This weekend I celebrated my first Mother’s Day. Well, technically this was my first Mother’s Day as a “human mom” and not just a “fur-mom”. (My dog friends will understand.) I’ve always celebrated Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day) with the fullest intentions of ensuring that my mom knew how loved she was and how thankful I was to have her as my mom, but I never fully understood what she’s gone through as a mother until I became one myself. It’s a lesson I think all children should learn at some point or another (but, no, I’m not saying everyone needs to procreate just to celebrate these two holidays).

11071667_10153235788989602_2774834097366942071_oI saw this on Facebook some time ago and saved it just for Mother’s Day. It makes me tear up as I read it, every single time (man I have gotten emotional since becoming a mom!).

This is so, so true in so many ways, and I’ve only experienced this for a little over three months. Being a mother is more than just being pregnant for nine months.

Things I’ve learned since becoming a mother myself:

  1. Everything can be washed, and if it can’t, it can be replaced.
  2. When you think you’re actually running on time, you’re not…start moving earlier!
  3. The best thing you can do for your child is to take care of yourself. If you’re sick, you can’t be 100 percent with it, so take care of yourself just as much as you take care of your child.
  4. Just like with my dogs, seeing her at the end of the day makes my day. Now that she’s smiling, to see her eyes light up when she sees me fills my heart with so much joy.
  5. If you think you’re too selfish to become a parent, think again. I thought I was, but all of that is thrown out the door when that little one enters your life. You will eat last (even my dogs and horses eat before I do), only get to shower if you can quickly squeeze one in, and their clothing needs come before yours. And, surprisingly, I’m OK with that.Mday2
  6. I now have a different perspective on that family eating out with a crying child, or the mother who looks frazzled while dealing with a child at the grocery. Before you gripe about how they’re child misbehave, or how dare they “ruin” your dinner out, take a moment to wonder if maybe they’re out to eat because they just want to get out of the house, or maybe that mother is a single mom doing it on her own. Have a little more patience and maybe offer to help, or compliment.
  7. Just a simple compliment can go a long way for an exhausted mom. Even if you’re not someone into kids, just asking your friend how they’re doing, or offering to meet for lunch (with or without offspring) means the world to them. A simple text to say hello and to check on them goes a long way, more than you’d ever know.
My mom's first Mother's Day as a grandMOTHER.

My mom’s first Mother’s Day as a grandMOTHER.

I am super proud of my baby girl, and it’s surprising how everyday I fall more and more in love with her.

Thank you, mom, for being the best mom a kid could ever ask for. Thank you for sacrificing your life so I could live mine. Thank you for “sharing” your bites with me, and thank you for putting up with me. And thank you, even moreso now, with the constant questions and complaints and just being an open ear and helping hand to offer any kind of assistance. I know I wouldn’t be who I am without you, or dad, and your strength and support. I just hope I’m half as much a great mom to Aubrey as you have been to me and Erin. I love you.

“A baby fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty”

Good Reads: Running Mothers, Sharing Praise, Stress Eating

It has been a really long time since I’ve done some link loving, but I thought I’d share a couple of things that really made me stop, read, and contemplate, which is pretty hard for me to do lately.

LinkLove

 

Why She Runs: To Adapt to Mother Hood (Runners’ World): “Running, with its demands that I mentally focus and take care of my body, ultimately made my transition to motherhood easier. And becoming a parent improved my running, requiring that I make it a priority and get the most out of each workout in the limited time I had.” I’m a big supporter of being active to help your mental health. And as a new mother myself, I know that there are days I need to get my frustration out so I can be a better mom to Baby A&W. I cannot wait to get back into running training again!

You are Doing a Really Good Job (I Got a Dumpster Family): It’s sad, but there are times that really, I just want a pat on the back. The past few months have been rough, and sometimes I wonder if anyone even notices, but I continue to come into work, paste a smile on my face and try to clear my mind of the craziness that is my life. I now understand mothers a lot more than before I had my baby, and I believe that, yes, we do need to support each other and say, “You’re doing great.” No matter what it is.

Stop the Cycle of Stress Eating (Evolution by Ariana): Stress eating is one of my biggest vices, and lately I know that’s what has stifled me losing the remaining baby weight. The crazy mornings, boring workdays, and then the harried evenings with the baby mean it’s hard to eat healthy for me some times. And I know a lot of it is lack of willpower, but sometimes you just say “F– it” and shovel those animal crackers in your mouth as you prepare a bottle for your crying baby. It’s important to just take a moment and think for yourself–you want you be healthy not only for yourself, but for your baby.

Your turn: Share your favorite reads from the past couple of weeks!

Dear Aubrey-Happy 3 Months

(Month 1, Month 2) A-3Months Dear Aubrey, Three months have come and gone so quickly, yet it seems like you’ve been in my heart forever. Everyday I grow deeper in love with you, even on those trying days… You and I are starting to figure each other out and get a routine down. On days that mom works, we’re pretty rushed in the mornings, but I always take a few moments to enjoy the morning with you because you are such a delight in the mornings–hopefully you stay that way and don’t become a grouchy bear like you daddy is in the mornings. We’ll play and talk, you’ll smile and kick your feet a million miles a minute. You’re starting to sleep longer stretches at night, which lets mommy sleep a little longer, so we’re both happy.

Morning snuggles are the best

Morning snuggles are the best

You still love daycare, and I love that you love it. Your favorite toy is a piano you can play with your feet, so as a little “3-month-birthday gift” I found one for the house and you’ve been going to town on it ever since (even while mom needed to wash the car and trim the bushes in front of the house over the weekend).

Mommy can multi-task pretty well now.

Mommy can multi-task pretty well now.

Daddy was able to come home a couple times during April. You’ve recently discovered the television and you’re just infatuated with watching things like car racing, and horse racing (as I discovered on Derby Day). Your daddy’s excited that he actually might have someone to watch car racing with him. Whenever the races would go to commercial, you’d voice your disapproval, so we’d find another car race on TV. Daddy-race Your hair is getting longer, so it’s settled down and not as crazy right now. It’s still a lighter brown, so we’re not sure if it’ll stay that color or change. Your eyes are a dark blue/gray and can be so expressive and big! A-RaceCars You must be hitting a growth spurt right now, because you’re demanding more than your usual four ounce bottle when it comes to meals. We’re still doing half breastmilk and half formula, and you’re finally putting on weight–at a doctor’s appointment a few days before your 3-month birthday you weighed 10 pounds 8 ounces! You’re wearing all 0-3 clothes now (and size 1 diapers), and even some of your 0-3 pants are getting short. It’s a little sad to be putting away all your newborn clothes to sell–there was a time that I thought you’d never grow out of them! You’re really starting to get strong, already starting to hold yourself up on your elbows when we do tummy time (though you get tired of it after a while).

Baby Yoga

Baby Yoga

You met your great-grandmother on a trip to see your daddy’s family one day. She said seeing your photos helped keep her spirits up while recovering from a stroke, so you’re already an inspiration to someone (besides your momma, of course)! You’ve watched your first Kentucky Derby, visited friends at your first dog agility trial (but mom didn’t compete), and felt the grass on your feet for the first time. Firsts I’m excited for even more firsts to come this summer, and I look forward to sharing more of my world with you in hopes you’ll be the same horse-dog-workout-run-crazy girl like your momma. HappyMornings

Trading the Gym Bag for a Diaper Bag

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I tried to stay very active in my workouts and running all through my pregnancy. I tried to workout at least five times a week, waking up every morning to hit Man O’War CrossFit before work, and sometimes do some shorter runs after work or on the weekends.

Heck, I even did CrossFit the morning I went into labor! (And was walking the dogs two miles when I went into labor.)

After the birth of Baby A&W, I slowly got back into working out. First it was with short dog walks–starting at 10 minutes, then 15, and then 20. Then I started doing some body weight work while A was sleeping or doing tummy time–planks, push ups, sit ups. I didn’t do any CrossFit during my maternity leave, mostly because I was in Indiana (though I did sneak one workout in when we came back into town for A’s one-month checkup), and got back into it a month ago.

It’s been hard to balance working out and being a mother. With M living/working in Indiana, that leaves me to tend to every one of A’s needs. So if I want to get my sweat on, she’s coming with me.

Never, ever go anywhere with your baby without your gym....err, I mean diaper bag. (Now, if only we can find wrist wraps that fit her!)

Never, ever go anywhere with your baby without your gym….err, I mean diaper bag. (Now, if only we can find wrist wraps that fit her!)

CrossFit
I’ve been doing what I can to make it work when it comes to CrossFit. While MOWCF doesn’t have daycare, it’s still pretty easy to bring your kid along to workout with you. Lil Bit just hitches a ride with mom and hangs out in her car seat to the side while I workout near her where I can hear or see her in case she needs me.

I’m lucky to have such a flexible, easygoing coach in Taylor, and a great group of guys in my morning class. They all were so supportive while I was pregnant, cheering me on, amazed at everything I was still doing even when my belly made it hard to do cleans or snatches. And now they’re still supportive. One of the coaches even took over distracting A when she was being fussy one morning so I could get in the rest of the workout before I had to leave.

Our mornings are crazy, and not for the faint of heart: my alarm goes off at 5 am so I can pump before she (hopefully) wakes up. Then I wake A up, change her diaper and her outfit, feed her, get myself dressed to workout, load her up in the car, and we arrive at MOWCF at 6:15 to workout. I get my workout done, then we load back up in the car and head for home, where I’ll quickly jump in the shower and dress for work, change her again, and load everything up for work/daycare. Sometimes she requests another bottle before we leave for daycare, which puts a kink in things, but I’m lucky to have a flexible boss who’s okay with us arriving late at times.

There are some mornings I don’t make it into the box, and while that used to upset me, I’m starting to be OK with it. Some mornings I just need an extra hour of sleep, or maybe we just need some more snuggle time. But I’m still making it to CrossFit 3-4 days a week, and as a pseudo-single mom of a 2.5 month old, that’s pretty darn good.

Running
I really want to get back into running…like really bad! But I haven’t been able to run, mostly because of not having anyone to watch her (I try to get a short run in if M’s in town and can watch her, but nature hasn’t played nicely with me). I now have a jogging stroller, and did a short 1.5 mile run with her last week, but then I read where I should probably wait until she’s a little older to do more. So I’m conflicted about running, and figure it might be best to err on the side of caution and wait a little longer before taking her on runs with me. She’s almost 3 months old now, so it won’t be long. I can wait.

For now, I’m just doing my best with getting short runs here and there. And then we go for 2 mile walks with the dogs after work/daycare daily (weather permitting), either with me carrying her or in her stroller.

I’m aiming for a fall half marathon, so I need to start getting my mileage back up soon.

Everyone needs their daily workouts, including the dogs!

Everyone needs their daily workouts, including the dogs!

At Home WODs
I have DVDs that I can use for workouts at home–some yoga videos (Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper) and P90x (thanks to a friend for letting me borrow them)–however our BluRay player stopped working and I dislike watching videos on my small MacBook screen. Plus, A still wants my attention, so it’s hard to do things without having her attached to me in some way. I use her tummy time as time for mommy to do some sit-ups and planks, and little things here and there, so we’re “working out together.”

My health and fitness is still a very big priority to me–I want to be a positive role model for my daughter and have her start on the right track from the beginning.

Breastfeeding Isn’t Easy, nor for Everyone

While going through pregnancy, I was asked many times if I planned to breastfeed Baby A&W. It wasn’t even much of a conversation between M and I–it was up to me, and I figured it was the best thing to do. I had read articles saying how it helped keep allergies at bay and boost the immune system of the baby. Plus, let’s face it, I was all about the weight loss benefits.

I knew breastfeeding wasn’t going to be easy, and I’ve many stories from those who tried and couldn’t or tired and succeeded, but I still went into it kind of blind, thinking surely it’d be something that just came to you–like maternal instincts are supposed to do. But then Aubrey came along, and I was rocked into motherhood.

Poor thing had no clue what she was getting into with momma and nursing.

Poor thing had no clue what she was getting into with momma and nursing.

Aubrey was a bit of a “lazy nurser”–meaning she didn’t want to try very hard to nurse on me, and would fall asleep often. She was also a little jaundice and lost about a pound from her birth weight, so I was stressing. The pediatrician prescribed that I feed her every two hours, and to pump after each nursing. I was spending 1.5 hours feeding A every 2, between fighting her to nurse, then pumping, then feeding what I pumped to her to make sure she actually got nutrition. It was wearing me down. I wanted to go straight to bottle feeding and pumping, but our first pediatrician said to not do that for another three weeks.

We went to see a lactation specialist, who had taught our breastfeeding class we took a month before A was born. She was great–she spent 3 hours with us, helping to work on A’s latch, checking to see how many ounces she really was getting from me, and being a big support. Unlike some lactation consultants, she was OK with pumping and she said she expected that I would have to supplement with formula–and that was OK. But because the doctor wanted A strictly on breastmilk, she helped us form a plan (which was the feeding, pumping, bottle plan), gave me her personal cell phone number, and wished us luck.

I was feeling more and more depressed, and stressed, feeling like I was a horrible mother for starving my child. I was also exhausting myself with the hellacious schedule that it required. It was all a nasty cycle that just continued, and I felt like M was getting tired of dealing with my tears of exhaustion and frustration because he knew there wasn’t anything he could do to help, and he hated feeling helpless.

Thankfully, we had to see another pediatrician in the same practice due to scheduling for one of A’s follow-ups. Dr. W was a breath of fresh air. She admitted that breastfeeding was difficult for her with her two boys, and how she felt guilty because, after all, she was a health care professional and she couldn’t breastfeed. But she pumped, and supplemented with formula, and her boys turned out just fine. Her wise words of advice: “All that matters is that you’re feeding and nourishing your baby. How you do that doesn’t matter–whether it’s via breastfeeding, pumping and feeding via bottle, supplementing with formula, or using all formula. It’s all the same. Just get food into her.”

That was a turning point, and, thanks to support from my mom, who saw how beaten down I was (my phrase was “Mom, I feel like I’m a dairy cow, and that’s all I am right now.”), I turned to exclusively pumping and feeding A via a bottle, using Similac Supplemental to boost her ounces. Doing such helped her finally start to gain weight and really start growing.

Now that I’m back to work, things have changed even more so. I’m extremely thankful to have a boss who immediately went to work finding an empty room and making it a “Mothers’ Room” for me and any other mother looking for a place to pump in peace. However, I was also dealing with being somewhat of a “single mom” and had to figure out how to pump when A was still awake (pumping in the middle of the night or before she woke up was easy). Because of that, I had to start dropping pumpings because it just wasn’t feasible.

Feeding your child helps you bond, whether its via the breast or the bottle, and no one should make you feel horrible for choosing either way.

Feeding your child helps you bond, whether its via the breast or the bottle, and no one should make you feel horrible for choosing either way.

Now that she’s past the two month mark, and had her first set of shots, I’m feeling more comfortable with the fact that I’m already starting to dry up. I never was able to produce much in the first place–maybe 3 ounces (from both breasts) at a time–so I knew my time would be limited. However, it does make me sad that soon I won’t be able to provide my own nourishment to her, not to mention the idea of buying formula more often than I am now makes my bank account cry.

I feel selfish saying that I can’t wait until I’m done producing breast milk because then I can easily go workout or go for runs on a tight schedule (right now I have to pump for at least 30 minutes beforehand, which requires planning and balancing). I can also relish in an adult beverage or two, which I haven’t done since I discovered I was pregnant (sure I could “pump and dump,” but I barely make enough milk as it is, I felt like that would be a waste of “liquid gold.”). And I can get back to wearing normal bras and clothes that I don’t have to worry about being able to pull up easily to pump while at work. Even just typing this makes me feel like I’ll be judged.

But, truth is, I’m ready to have my body back to myself. I’ve been able to provide more than some mothers are able to, for some reason or another, so I should be proud of myself for at least being able to stick it out as long as I have. I really did give it a good college try, and I provided her with my nutrients the best I could. I can’t be like my co-worker who has a 15-month-old and still pumps 10 ounces once a day–most women aren’t built like that.

And I’m OK with that.

More reading:
Fit Pregnancy: It’s OK if You Can’t Breastfeed
The Lean Green Bean: Breastfeeding is Hard

Starting to Grow! Dear Aubrey-Two Months

(If you’d like to read my letter to Baby A&W on her 1-month birthday, you can read it here.)

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Dear Aubrey,

Your second month of life has been vastly different from your first. During February, you mostly slept…boy did I think I had it easy from there on out. March was a completely different story as you started discovering the world you were born into, and that you could see so much if you stayed awake.

You finally started gaining weight and gaining ground in growing–your 2-month doctor’s appointment saw you tipping the scales at 8 pounds and 14 ounces, a full two pounds heavier than when you were born (in the 15th percentile). You now measure 21.75 inches long (21st percentile) and your head measures 37 centimeters around (20th percentile). You’re not the biggest girl, but that’s alright. Dr. Wilson (your pediatrician) says you’re going to be long and lean, like your momma. You are constantly moving–the only time I see you still is when you’re sound asleep at bedtime. Because of this, Dr. Wilson says you’re constantly burning calories–truly living up to your “Baby CrossFit” nickname given to you before you were born by mom’s CrossFit coach.

Mid-March we moved back to Lexington–momma went back to work and you started daycare. You’re in the “minnows” classroom at Tot’s Landing and they absolutely love you–they call you “Lil Bit” just like your mom and dad do because you’re the smallest member of the room. You spend your time at daycare either sleeping in the swing, tummy time, or playing with the foot keyboard.

Babys

Baby’s first CrossFit WOD

Our days during the week are crazy: We wake at 5 am for mommy to pump and you to eat your bottle, then around 6 we head to Man O’War CrossFit so mommy can get her workout on (you mostly sleep through the workouts in your carseat). After our workout, we rush home so I can get ready for work, and you demand another bottle before we leave for daycare and work. After work, I come pick you up and we head home to walk the dogs–you love going for pup walks in your carrier, and I hope soon we can get a stroller so we can go for longer walks (and start running together now). Then it’s time to get things ready for the next day (your bottles at daycare, mommy’s lunch at work) and we hope to relax a little for an early bedtime.

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Your daddy’s been traveling a lot for work–he’s still spending the week in Indiana with your grandparents and, if he’s not traveling, he comes down to spend the weekends with us in Lexington. You love falling asleep on your dad’s chest in the recliner.

You’re really developing a personality, learning to make lots of new noises and faces everyday, and trying to take in as much as possible. Your eyes are now gray, and we’re hoping a little green will start to appear. And your hair…ohh baby girl…your hair is cray cray (that’s 2015 slang for Crazy)! It’s long and wild, and that’s made even worse when I blow dry your hair. But, everyone loves it. You’ve got momma’s thick hair and your daddy’s cowlick–so you won’t be able to have bangs or short hair, sorry.

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LaMesa loves her little sister.

 

You’re holding yourself up more and more with each passing day, proving that though you’re tiny, you’re mighty. The dogs love you–everyday we come home from daycare they have to check you out and give you little kisses, just to make sure all is well.

You received your first shots, which was upsetting for you for just a few minutes, but nothing too horrible. You also had your first cold, most likely daycare germs, and shared your germs with mommy–thanks.

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Warmer weather and new adventures await us in the coming months!

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One Month Ago Life Changed–Dear Aubrey

It’s hard to believe that it’s been one month since Aubrey joined this world and changed my life forever. It feels like it’s been longer than a month, but then again, it’s like “It’s already been a month??”

1 Month Old!

1 Month Old!

One of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean, recently had a baby as well, and I love what she does to commemorate each passing month of Chase’s life, so I thought I’d steal her idea (I hope you don’t mind, Lindsay!). Every month she writes a letter to Chase about his month of growth, which I love. I’d hope that one day Aubrey can read these letters…

Dear Aubrey,

I can’t believe it’s already been one month since you joined me and Daddy’s world. All the preparations we did leading up to your arrival didn’t prepare me for the roller coaster ride that is new motherhood.

You’ve already proven you’re like your mother in the fact that you’ll do what you want when you want. Right now, it’s mostly been sleeping–you’ve slept away most of your first month on this Earth. If only I could say the same for myself. I only hope you’re able to sleep well the rest of your life!

Your momma conquered changing diapers pretty quickly, though there are times that I forget to put a diaper under you as soon as I remove the dirty one…and then we have to wash the changing pad. Oops. We’ve had a few blowouts, but nothing horrible.

We’ve had our struggles with your weight, and with momma trying to breastfeed you. But I think we’re starting to get things figured out. After dropping a full pound, you’re now up to 7 pounds 6 ounces! At your last doctor’s appointment, you were 20.5″ long, but I think you’ve grown at least an inch since, because your legs are too long for Newborn-sized sleepers.

Lots of feedings!

Lots of feedings!

My saying for the first month has been: “First time mom + first time baby = not a good combo”. Thankfully you’ve been pretty forgiving. I just hope you’re this forgiving later in life…

We’ve spent most of your first month living with Grammie and Granpie in Indiana–Daddy had to start his new job two weeks after you were born in Indianapolis, so that I had some help, we temporarily moved up to the family farm with your puppy sisters. I think you’ve enjoyed your stay–you get spoiled by not only Grammie and Granpie, but also your Aunt Erin and Uncle Jerry. Win-win.

We’re in this together for a lifetime, and while the future is still scary for me to fathom, I’m happy I have you as my little partner in crime.

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Baby A&W’s Arrival

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been two weeks since Baby A&W came into my life. They say time goes by quickly, but I think the first few weeks actually slowly trudge along. That could be because of the lack of sleep, or the overwhelming feeling you constantly have because of all of the new information, new learning, new schedule, etc.

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Without going into detail, I thought I’d share my story of Aubrey’s arrival.

Monday afternoon (Feb. 2) I had my regular 39 week appointment (I was 38 weeks and 5 days) with my doctor. At 1 pm, I was only 2-3 cm dilated and 80% effaced, and my doctor said she was thinking Thursday or Friday would be the day. If not, we’d induce at my 40 week appointment the following Monday, so that way M was in town for the birth of our baby girl. I went back to work, perfectly comfortable. After work, I went home and took my two dogs, plus my mom’s Vallhund, for our usual 2 mile walk in the neighborhood. It was then that I started to feel extreme discomfort off and on–no real regular timing, and no pain, just uncomfortable. I figured it was because we were walking at a fast clip over the hills in my neighborhood…but apparently it was labor contractions (though I didn’t know this for a few more hours).

When I finished our walk, I stretched out on the couch and my mom said I didn’t look too good, so we started timing the cramping and called the doctor. We waited an hour, I drank about 50 ounces of water and tried to relax, but finally the doctor said I should go into the hospital–it could be one of two things, true or false labor. So at 9:30 we headed out the door and to the hospital. At 10, upon admittance, the nurse checked me over and said I was 5 cm and 100% effaced–this was the real thing. So I called M, and he and my dad started their 3.5 hour journey from Indiana, and with adrenaline pumping through his veins, he made it to Lexington in less than 3 hours.

By 11 pm (or so), I asked for an epidural because the contractions were coming hard and fast–we knew the only way we could hopefully slow down labor so hopefully M would make it to the hospital in time for his baby’s birth was if we did the epidural right then. I was at 8 cm, and we were speeding through. Getting the epidural hurt…like hell. My contractions were nonstop, so it was hard to get the epidural in place, but finally we did.

By 1:30, M and my dad had made it, and I was 9 cm…and finally feeling relaxed because of the epidural and because my best friend was there. Then it was a waiting game…things had basically stopped. My water had yet to break. It wasn’t until about 4 am that I was at 10 cm. Around 5 am, they finally broke my water on their own. At 5:30, the doctor came in and announced it was “time to have a baby!”

Delivery was short and sweet–the nurses and doctors were impressed at how quickly things were progressing. At some point I said something about how I had heard that if you worked out and/or ran throughout your pregnancy, delivery was supposed to be quick. That’s when the doctor looked at me and said, “Considering most first-time moms push for at least three hours, and your baby is going to be here in less than 30 minutes, I think you’re doing pretty good.” Lo and behold, at 5:59, little miss A&W entered the work. (Ironically right before my alarm went off on my phone to wake up to go to CrossFit. LOL)

He's definitely one happy, and proud, daddy.

He’s definitely one happy, and proud, daddy.

So, there you have it….labor lasted less than 12 hours, with delivery less than 30 minutes. She was (still is) perfect. Born 38 weeks and 6 days, 6 pounds 14 ounces, 20 inches long, with a full head of hair (taking after her momma, of course). Within the first 24 hours, it was apparent she’s a strong girl–she was already lifting her head off my chest, pushing off my body with her legs and arms.

The first week was a strange sensation that I actually gave birth to this little human being–I’m actually a mother. It’s still a hard concept to grasp for me right now, even after two weeks.

I’m not 100 percent sure all of my maternal instincts have kicked in, yet, but I’m getting there. Learning how to change a diaper wasn’t too hard, and I’m still getting the hang of swaddling. Trying to figure out why she erupts in cries is another story…I may never figure all of those out. Breastfeeding is hard…don’t ever think it’s easy, because it’s not. I’m planning to do a write-up on that soon. Aubrey dropped all the way to 5 pounds 14 ounces by the time we left the hospital (babies typically lose 4% of their body weight after birth, anyway), and it’s been a hard, slow road to get her back to her birth rate (she’s at 6 pounds 2 ounces now).

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Do I recommend continuing to work out during pregnancy still? Of course I do. I think it did help me have an easy labor/delivery and I think it’s been what has helped me recover faster than most. But you have to do it on your terms and listen to your body, and fuel wisely.

 

B-Day is Coming–38 Weeks & Counting

It’s so hard to believe that we’re on 38 weeks of pregnancy and that Baby A&W could come at any moment. And let me tell you…I am not ready.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, and for that I apologize. Life has gotten crazy busy, as any mom-to-be can probably attest to. The last few weeks I’ve been busy trying to finish up tasks at work and training coworkers to take over my duties while I’m gone, finishing up the multitude of freelance writing assignments that piled up on me from editors hoping I can get things to them before the baby’s arrival, and dealing with major changes in our family.

Working Out
I am still working out just about everyday. I wake up at 6 am every weekday morning and hit Man O’War CrossFit for my daily weight training. I’ve backed off the weight more, and definitely the intensity, but just to still walk into the box and try my best to be normal. My coach and the rest of the guys I work out with always make me laugh, even when they say it feels like I’ve been pregnant for a year (trust me, I feel the same way). There are more things that I can’t do now (i.e., jump rope, squat below parallel), but I try to not let that stop or discourage me.

There are times that I just don’t feel like going to the box, but I know that I’m going to miss it when the baby comes those first weeks, so I still go. When I have those days, I just tell Taylor “I’m preggo WODding it” which means I’ll do my own thing (like one day I just foam rolled and stretched–which is exactly what I needed that day). He’s OK with that and just keeps an eye on my while working with the rest.

Writing & Work
A few months ago I warned all of my editors about when the baby was coming and requested my assignments as early as possible so I could work ahead and get the assignments into them before Baby A&W arrives. I ended up having more than 15 assignments due by the end of this month. When you’re also working full-time, that’s a lot on a normal (read: non-pregnant) person.

I’ve also gotten additional (last minute) assignments due for the month of February, which I’m currently working on finishing this weekend…I hope.

As far as my full-time job, I’ve been doing my best to train co-workers different aspects of my job so they can take care of anything that pops up during my 6 week maternity leave.

Preparing Home for Baby
With all of this going on, it’s hard to think that I would have the time to get our home ready for the baby. Well, thankfully my mother came down to help me. She’s been instrumental in helping to organize all of the baby stuff from my showers, wash all of the baby clothes, and make sure I have enough receiving blankets and clothing to fit the baby for the next 6 months. We’ve successfully changed the office into a nursery where my dad put together our crib and I put together Baby A&W’s swing and some organization shelves.

We went from having an exclusive rodeo themed nursery to a farm/dog (mostly Corgi) themed nursery. My dog friends gave me some great items like a dog musical mobile that was just too perfect. I also had a wall hanging quilt with Corgis playing in front of a barn that a friend gave me years ago that I just didn’t know what to do with–well now it’s hanging on the wall above the crib.

I have a good selection of diapers (size newborn and 1s) as well as plenty of wipes (seriously…plenty). Lots of Dr. Brown’s bottles (I did register for other brands, but all of my friends bought me Dr. Brown’s) and pacifiers (even though I don’t really know if I want Baby A&W to use pacifiers). And lots of baby clothes of all sizes/ages. My parents even brought down an antique cradle for us to have in our bedroom those first couple of months.

We’re just hoping that having the dogs be a part of all of the preparation stuff helps them in the transition of the baby when the time comes. I’ve been doing lots of reading on how to intro duct dogs/pets to the new baby, and I have to say that’s one of my biggest stressors right now.

Changing Life
And then there’s a big wrench in everything… Around Christmas time, M applied and interviewed for a new job…and received a job offer at the end of the year. Great news, right?? Of course. Unfortunately, it also means a huge change in address for us. The job is in Indiana, which means we’ll be moving back there. Since mid-January, he’s been in Indiana training for his new job.

During the week he’s been staying with my dad and going to training, then he comes down to Lexington to spend the weekend with me. His new company will give him his two weeks paid vacation when the baby arrives (which he normally wouldn’t receive until after 6 months in) and they told him that as soon as I call him saying I’m in labor, he is just to get in the car and drive, and call them from the road. They understand the pressures he’s under with a pregnant wife and a baby coming soon. So far they seem like they’re a great company, and for that I’m thankful.

I’ll be staying down in Kentucky until it’s the right time for me and Baby A&W to move. I’m hoping I’ll have found a job by then because we’ll still need the dual income, as well as my freelancing. We will be closer to my family, which will be helpful when it comes to raising our child, but I am sad to be leaving a place that has a special place in my heart. But I know it’s for the best, and sometimes we have to just go with the change and see where it leads us.

So….yeah…that’s been my life up to now! Haha This post has gone very long and for that I apologize. I’ll do my best to keep you up-to-date as time nears for Baby A&W’s arrival. For now, wish me luck! :-)