Postpartum Body Progression

Good morning and happy Saturday! It is truly incredible what a woman’s body is capable of doing to accommodate pregnancy. It took me by surprise how quickly I lost my pregnancy weight. I am 4 pounds away from my pre pregnancy weight, but weight is not something I am too concerned about. What I am excited for is watching my stomach become toned again! I am choosing to wait until 8 weeks to begin working out to give my body more time to rest. Breastfeeding has been extremely exhausting for me, so I am just trying to relax and rest in between feeding sessions. I have to be honest, I was expecting HUGE changes postpartum, but there hasn’t been. Here is my experience:

I had a first degree episiotomy during childbirth, so my skin was cut to assist Paul’s birth. I was given stitches, and the only time I felt discomfort was 5 days postpartum when the stitches were closing. I saw my doctor three weeks postpartum and everything was perfect. I know that this is a question that many women have, and I can assure you, at least for women who will receive a first degree episiotomy, that everything goes back to normal both aesthetically and sensationally down there. Nothing at all has changed.

My stomach appears different. My hips and waist are currently wider, and my skin is loose. I am certain that this will change when I start working out, so I will revisit this over the course of the next few months. I am going to see a physical therapist this week who will tell me what I need to do to optimize toning my abs. After I gave birth, the nurse told me my abs split 3 fingers wide, and that it would close over the next 6 weeks. I need to make sure that my abs are closed before I begin working out or the results will not be appealing. If they are still split, I would have to do specific workouts to close the separation before I can start toning. None of the things I just mentioned are permanent changes, and I am so ready to see what my body can do. What I do have that is permanent, and am very proud of, are 4 long stretch marks underneath my belly button. As much as I put on my cocoa butter, ate a strict healthy diet, and gained weight slowly; I knew at 20 weeks pregnant that I would develop stretch marks at some point because Paul would frequently put so much pressure in my belly button.

The biggest ongoing slow change that I have are with my breasts. The more milk that Paul demands, the bigger they get. Had I not breastfed, they would have looked exactly like they did pre pregnancy, but because I am breastfeeding, they are always producing milk. Other than the fullness, they have not changed.

February 7th (3 hours postpartum)

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Feeling my tummy after giving birth was really weird. It was literally empty since I was no longer supporting a baby and my organs still needed 6 weeks to fall back into place. It was really squishy at first.

 February 10th (3 days postpartum)

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February 12th (5 days postpartum)

    Feb 12th front  Feb 12th

February 25th (18 days postpartum)

        Feb 25th side  Feb 25th

March 6th (28 days postpartum)

         March 6th side   March 6th

March 25th (47 days postpartum)

march 25th side  March 25th

This entire journey has been incredible, and I am looking forward to subsequent pregnancies. I am not interested in getting my pre pregnancy body back; what I am interested in is sculpting and embracing my new body. Thank you for reading and coming on this journey with me <3 I hope you have a happy Saturday!

Baby Boy is Full Term!

Good morning and happy Monday =D I am 37 weeks pregnant, and my son is officially full term! When I look at my belly, I can’t believe that I have a full size newborn baby in my body. My little marshmallow man is due in 22 days, and I am so anxious and eager to meet him. It is amazing how much my son’s fetal movements have changed over the last week. I feel him all of the time, but he is mostly squirming and trying to stretch. I think he is trying to make more room in mommy’s tummy!

Body

This is my body at 37 weeks =D  I still weigh 140 lbs.

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 This is the first time in my life that, in my eyes, I feel absolutely beautiful =D Being pregnant has been such a positive experience and has had such a positive impact on me.

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy Monday! <333

34 Weeks Update!

Good afternoon and happy Saturday! I am so sorry that I have not updated in a while =( I am now 34 weeks, and each week since my last update has been full of new surprises. My baby boy is super active and has taken control of my tummy; especially the left side =D Little cutie. I feel every precious movement he makes, and my favorite has to be the sensation of him rolling around. It is also super adorable when he gets the hiccups, which feels like a heartbeat =)

It is so exciting that I only have 6 more weeks to go. =) It is amazing to experience how different my body feels and looks from one week to the next. An interesting symptom that I have been experiencing over the last 3 weeks is a decrease in appetite. I am not hungry all the time anymore, and I get full incredibly fast.

Here is me at 34 weeks pregnant:

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My total weight gain so far is 21 lbs. I am now 136 lbs, which is exactly where I expected to be =D

Hospital Tour

Matt and I went on a tour of the hospital this week =D We both feel very much at ease now that we know what to expect during our 2 or 3 night stay. There is an ER just for women who are in labor, which is the first place I will go when I arrive to the hospital. After I am admitted, I will be transferred to the delivery room, which is a private room where we will stay for the rest of my labor. After I deliver, we will be transferred to another private room where we will spend 2 or 3 nights. Being there and seeing what my experience is going to be like was so invigorating; I’m ready!

Labor Pains

The day after Matt and I went on our hospital tour, I started experiencing intense cramping. I have a relatively high pain tolerance, so I was unable to accurately judge the urgency of the pain. The cramping started in my lower back and made it’s way around my entire stomach. I was also having contractions, but they were so irregular that I knew it had to be braxton hicks. I experienced these pains constantly for 6 hours before finally falling asleep. I still had them when I woke up in the morning, so my doctor is testing me to see if I am at risk for premature labor. I am on bedrest until the results come back on Monday =0 I am hoping that baby boy waits until 37 weeks so his lungs and brain have more time to develop.

Words can not express how amazing it is to be pregnant and to experience a human growing inside of you. In the third trimester, you feel every movement your baby makes; every twist, turn, stretch, kick, and hiccup, and since I love feeling him, the third trimester has been my favorite part of pregnancy. Thank you for reading and enjoying this experience with me <33333 I hope you have a wonderful Saturday!

 

27 Weeks Pregnant!

Good morning and happy Sunday! It is so exciting to be 27 weeks pregnant and officially in the last week of my second trimester =D Just 13 more weeks until I meet our little man <3 As eager as I am to meet him, I am truly enjoying pregnancy and all the experiences that have come along with it.

Baby <3

It is amazing that since October 27th (our wedding day), I have felt our baby boys movements non stop. I literally feel him all the time. He shifts positions often throughout the day, and based on his position, I think I know when he is sleeping. He likes to put his head in my belly button, and during this time is when I feel the least movement, so this is when I think he is asleep. My stomach gets really hard and tight, and you can feel his head! He will stay in this position for about 6 hours, usually from early afternoon until the evening. When he is in this position, my belly button looks like it is going to pop out. When he wakes up, he moves to one side of my stomach, my belly button goes back in, and I am able feel his hands and feet move simultaneously. I love how active he is =D

Body 

 

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Here is my body at 25 weeks =D I weighed 128 lbs.

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This is my body at 27 weeks pregnant =D I currently weigh 130 lbs, which is right on target. =D

New pregnancy changes are accompanying the end of the second trimester. One of the newest experiences is the development of insomnia which has been occurring over the last 3 weeks. I have never had difficulties sleeping prior to this, and on a regular basis, I only get around 3 solid hours a sleep a night. When I fall asleep, I am awakened shortly after by the need to use the bathroom or by heartburn. Heartburn is another new experience for me as I have never experienced heartburn prior to pregnancy. I do not have heartburn every day, but I get it a few times a week. I am not sure what is causing it. I am also limited to eating a certain amount of dairy and sugar. If I eat too much, I become extremely ill. It is very interesting as these were two things that I used to binge on, but now my body can only handle so much of it.

There is something that I find beneficial about not being able to sleep. My baby is super active at night, and not being able to sleep gives me more hours to embrace and appreciate these movements, as well as appreciate my body for the work that it is doing to support this baby.

Thank you for reading, I hope you have a wonderful Sunday! <333

I am 23 Weeks Pregnant and Loving It!

Good afternoon everyone and happy Monday <3

My Baby 

This week has been incredible. This was the first week that I have been able to feel so many different movements of my baby boy. In a matter of days, his movements went from some flutters and some kicks here and there to strong kicks and noticeable twist and turns. The cutest thing he has been doing is putting his head in my belly button. When he does that, not only can I poke his head with my finger, but my stomach becomes so tight that I am unable to bend over. I probably shouldn’t be poking his cute little head, but I can’t help it =)

His movements are strongest when I am sitting or laying down. The feeling is indescribable. It still amazes me everyday that my body is growing a human life; and I can feel him. He is his own being yet he is a part of me. I am a lucky woman to be able to experience something so wonderful. =D

My Body

Week 1 to 17:

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Week 20

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Week 23

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So far, I have gained 10 pounds =) Since the first week of the second trimester, I have been gaining about a pound a week. I still have not resumed doing any toning exercises due to pelvic pressure, but since the weather has been so beautiful, I have been walking a mile five times a week. I feel absolutely incredible =D

I have started to experience braxton hicks contractions over the last week. They occur completely randomly and last between 1 to 2 minutes. Only 17 more weeks until I experience the real thing =D

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have a wonderful day! =D

 

 

19 More Weeks!

Good evening and happy Sunday =D For me, getting ready to go to the doctors for an ultrasound is like getting ready to visit someone special who I have not been able to see for a really long time. I absolutely love being able to watch my baby on the ultrasound screen and to see how his brain, organs, bones, and extremities are developing. It is so amazing to see how much my baby has grown over the last 6 weeks. He is now 11 ounces and is the length of a banana =D My big boy <3

Over the past 20 weeks, my body has undergone some transformation =D Here are a few pictures.

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The two pictures on the left were taken on Week 1, and the two pictures on the right were take on Week 17. I gained 4 pounds (115-119) from Week 1 to Week 17.

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These two pictures were taken on Week 20. I gained a total of 8 beautiful pounds so far.

There is such a tremendous difference with the way I feel now from the way that  I felt during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. Week 15 through Week 17 were by far the easiest weeks. My all day sickness completely subsided, I was no longer living in the bathroom, I was sleeping for a solid 6 hours a night without waking up to use the bathroom (I also cut back on how much water I was drinking before bedtime), I was experiencing very mild cramping, and my energy came completely back. I was also able to complete leg and butt toning exercises for 30 minutes four days a week without any hesitation.

Week 18 is when my stomach starting feeling particularly heavy and I started feeling severe pelvic pressure. The pressure is not painful at all, it is just very uncomfortable, gave us a big scare, and it prompted me to change my expectations about completing toning exercises during pregnancy. To accommodate the pressure, I have discontinued toning exercises, I walk much slower, and I take it as easy as possible when engaging in movements such as bending, squatting, and transitioning my body from sitting to standing or laying to sitting. Due to the heaviness on my stomach, I am finding it hard to stay comfortable throughout the night. I try to only sleep on my side because there is a risk of the baby laying on an artery if I lay on my back which will reduce blood flow to my brain and therefore to the placenta. Every transition I make while sleeping wakes me up. So far over the course of this entire pregnancy, the pelvic pressure has been the only symptom that I have found difficult, and it is mostly because I have had to make so many accommodations because of it. I promise you though, the pressure is worth it and for me has been the only nuisance in pregnancy thus far. If my baby needs room, he can give me all the pressure he needs to be comfortable =D At the beginning of Week 20, my pelvic pressure became less severe and was no longer continuous. I feel this pressure a few times during the day, sometimes for a long duration, but is no where near as uncomfortable as it was during Week 18.

Week 18 was also the week that I was first able to distinguish his movements from everything else going on within my body, and it is by far my favorite part of pregnancy! Every day, his movements become stronger, more frequent, and longer in duration. Every time I feel him is as amazing as the first <3 I actually feel his kicks now, I love it so much!

I have to say, I really love my maternity pants. I bought three pairs of MAMA Skinny Maternity Pants from H&M, and I must show you what they look like =D

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Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have a wonderful night =D

Safe Pregnancy Workouts

Good evening and happy Saturday! July 3rd was the day that I found out I was pregnant =D, and it was the day that I decided that my workout regime had to drastically change. My doctor told me to continue working out, just to avoid using weights. I want to share the steps that I took to design a pregnancy workout regime that works for me.

The first thing I did was research what material my yoga mat was made up of. When discovering it was made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), I decided to discontinue using it. PVC had been found to contain highly toxic material consisting of toxic metals and phthalates that leaches out of the mat and can cause damage to your body. For more information on PVC, please visit:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/456023-pvc-yoga-mat-safety/

I then researched the material that my weights were made up of.  I had been using vinyl weights for a few years, only to discover they they also contain PVC. For this reason, I decided to discontinue using these weights along with my yoga mat.

Since starting my pregnancy workout regime, I have been using a cotton towel to replace my yoga mat. I have not yet found nontoxic weights, but I did find a company that makes nontoxic eco-friendly yoga mats.

https://www.my-airex.com/en/

One day when I have expendable money, I will purchase one of these mats: until then, it’s the cotton towel for me =D

Now that I knew I was comfortable with my workout equipment (or lack of), I decided to research which workouts are safe to complete during pregnancy. After much inquiry, I have decided to:

  • Avoid working out while lying on my back as it may reduce blood flow to my uterus
  • As soon as I find nontoxic weights, I plan on toning my arms with three pound weights; the recommendation is to stay under 10 pounds
  • Avoid workouts that cause me to become out of breath and cause my heart to beat too fast–this may restrict blood flow to my uterus as well
  • Avoid any type of ab workout

I will be sharing my safe pregnancy workout clips with you soon! =D