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.

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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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