Fitness Journey, Mom Life, Pregnancy Journey

Update: Exclusively Breastfeeding (EBF) & Postpartum Weight Check

This blog post is long overdue; sorry not sorry. I am enjoying these precious moments home with our little baby boy. I know all to well the truth in the saying, ‘They do not stay little for long’. It’s the bitter sweet reality of motherhood and parenting. You find out the exciting news that you are pregnant and the time seems to take forever as your body changes over the course of 9 months. Nearing the end you grow even more impatient on your little one’s arrival as the growing pains increase and the due date nears. Once they arrive you are mesmerized by their being. Yet, with each day they grow older and milestones continue. Soon they start walking and talking. Then they start running and before you know it they are ready to start school (Kindergarten).

We take for granted these moments. Time stands still for no one. I am soaking in all the cuddles I can get before our little one grows too big that I can’t cradle him in my arms. Today marks his 25th day here in this world and that also means day 25 of exclusively breastfeeding (EBF). I am here to debunk the myth that breastfeeding is easy. Yes, it is natural, but far from easy. Most women give up on breastfeeding within 21 days after delivery. I believe that breast is best and I was determined to make this work for us. Day 25 and we are successfully making it happen. Yes, it is exhausting: nurse, pump, eat, sleep, and repeat (my life story).

EBF has been the main reason why I have been M.I.A from blogging. Blogging definitely becomes pretty difficult now that I have a baby laid across my lap and chest, rather than my macbook. Always, check in with me on social media if you want to stay updated. I have been posting more on IG and Twitter. I definitely promise to work blogging back into my schedule. I have so many topics that I am excited to share with you all.

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Postpartum Weight Check:Prior to delivery, my last recorded weight on 5/8/19 was 180.6 lbs. I delivered on 5/11/19. Above you can see my progress pictures prior to and after delivery. At 6 days PP I weighed in at 166 lbs. By 12 days PP I weighed in at 161 lbs. If you look back at my initial post, Weekly Weigh-In Pregnancy Edition: https://fitlifewitherica.com/2019/02/28/wednesday-weekly-weigh-in-pregnancy-edition/ my pre-pregnancy weight was recorded at 163 lbs [documented on 8/19/18].

I am so amazed at how quickly I was able to reach my pre-pregnancy weight and even loose an additional few pounds. I definitely give credit to the fact that I am breastfeeding (burns calories). While, I am taking in an additional 500 calories daily in order to keep my supply up I am efficiently burning calories. All of this progress has been made without exercising. I really have not found the time to fit exercise back into my schedule yet. When I say ‘exercising’ I mean actual workouts and running. Right now I am just staying active by walking which is better than nothing. For those of you that know me, you know that keeping moving is a priority to me.

Tonight, I weigh in at 159.4 lbs. I am not too focused on the scale numbers. Since I am EBF I do not plan on making any drastic dieting cuts. It is important that I am consuming enough calories daily in order to maintain and support my milk supply. However, I still have fitness goals to be achieved. My goal is to become leaner and strength train. Over the course of the next few months I will be focusing more on reducing visceral fat and building muscle. I have some love handles that I would like to see gone and in order to make that happen the visceral fat has to go.

Fitness Tip:

Reduce the visceral fat prior to building muscle [muscle gains do not look good over fat]

I will continue to keep you all updated on my fitness journey and goals. Please continue to follow for updates, as well as other great content as it relates to: Motherhood, Fitness, Health, and Life.

FLWE ❤

Mom Life, Pregnancy Journey

A Mother’s Day to Remember: My Birth Story (Baby #3)

Friday, May 10, 2019: I followed up with my OB/GYN for my weekly appointment. I was still only 2 cm dilated and about 60% effaced. With Jr. due date quickly approaching in 4 days I began to feel overwhelmed. Despite knowing that due dates are only predicted estimates of when baby is expected to come I began to get concerned since my next appointment would be on his due date, Tuesday, May 14, 2019 and my OB/GYN said he would recommend for me to have a scheduled c-section around 41 weeks if I failed to progress. He explained to me that despite having a successful vaginal delivery with my first that inductions are not an ideal option after having a c-section as it puts the mother at an increased risk for a potential uterine rupture with the medicines they would use for induction. While he explained what to expect, he did remind me to stay positive since things can change quickly.

Before I left my appointment, since it was Mother’s Day weekend he handed me a beautiful Pink Rose and wished me a Happy Mother’s Day and I told him that it would be even nicer if baby boy made his arrival. He smiled-laughed and told me to be careful what you wish for.

Later Friday evening, we decided to get our grocery shopping out of the way since we didn’t know what the coming week would bring. After googling ways to induce labor, I decided to pick up some more Dates which reportedly softens the cervix and pineapples. I figured why not give it a try. I had already been walking a minimum of 3-4 miles per day and doing 10 squats each time I would go to the bathroom. All methods recommended to move baby further down into the birthing canal and begin labor. [I can’t say for sure if these methods worked or if it was just naturally the right time for baby.]

Saturday, May 11, 2019: I woke up around 7:30 am and heard my husband scuffling around in our room and putting his clothes on. It’s the weekend so it’s not shocking that he was getting out of bed this early (he never sleeps in). I asked him where was he going and he told me that he was going to go get a oil change. I asked him, “If I ride with you can you stop me to get some Dunkin’ Donuts coffee on the way back home?” He said “sure”, which was very surprising since he had been discouraging me from drinking coffee throughout my pregnancy.

While at Valvoline, I just kept thinking to myself what if my water broke in the middle of the mechanics changing his oil. I even joked with him about this. I mean I know they are quick with changing oil but they wouldn’t be that quick when we are in a state of panic. The oil change was a success and we made it to Dunkin’ Donuts for my medium Caramel Cappuccino Blast. (favorite drink)

Before heading home hubby wanted to stop at CVS to check to see if they had his beard products on sale. I normally would chose to stay in the car but I was determined to hit my hourly step goal so I decided to go in CVS with him. CVS did not have what he was looking for and as we began walking out of the store I kept thinking about the urge I had to use the bathroom and I felt a little trickle of water between my legs. As I set down in the car the trickle became a little heavier and I could noticeably feel that my underwear were soaked. I looked at my Husband Andrew and I told him, “I think my water just broke”.

He looked at me with concern and asked, “are you sure”? I told him that I wasn’t sure but what I do know is that I still have the urge to use the bathroom so I know I didn’t pee on myself. We rushed home (thankfully we was not far). I immediately went to the bathroom to pee and check my underwear (completely soaked). As I cleaned myself up and put on new underwear and pants I called the nurse’s advice line and described to them what just happened. While talking to them on the phone my fresh underwear began to soak up again with fluid. At that point it was definitely confirmed that this was not a simple case of urinary incontinence – my water had indeed broke!

My OB/GYN was contacted and I was advised to make my way to the hospital. At this point, my husband, sister in law, and daughter were all scuffling around the house trying to get everything that they needed. All of us in disbelief that it was really happening – in a few hours we would be welcoming our son into the world.

Upon arriving at the hospital, the L&D Nurse checked the leaking fluid and confirmed that it was amniotic fluid. The on call OB/GYN was the same doctor that cared for me when I had the stomach flu a few months ago and she was wonderful. The odds of her being on call this very day was unbelievable. God had everything to do with the planning and timing. She came in to check my dilation and I was at 3 cm by the time I arrived to the hospital. She asked what my birthing plans were and I told her that I wanted to try for a VBAC and she told me that, that was a great choice. She explained to me that I have a 99% chance of success given my history and she did not suspect that I needed to be induced. She was allowed me to labor on my own and my body did just that.

She came back to check my progress every 3 hours and I dilated 1 cm every 3 hours. It definitely was a long time waiting but things began to progress faster as the time went on. I opted for my epidural at 4 cm and it worked pretty well but my left side and leg did not numb up as well as my right did. At 10:30 pm, the doctor checked me and I was at 7 cm. She informed me that should would be back in about 3 hours and will introduce me to the other doctor coming on for her. I was disappointed to hear this because I really wanted her to delivery baby boy.

Immediately, after she left the room not even 5 minutes had past and I started feeling intense pressure and as my mother in law and sister in law watched the monitor my contractions were coming less than 1 minute a part. In my first pregnancy the last time I started complaining about pressure Abby was already crowning on her own. I really am starting to believe that it’s something about these McKinney babies that they want to deliver themselves into this world. My hubby pulled back the blankets to make sure the baby’s head was not crowning but he was too terrified to really look. He immediately, told me to press the button for the Nurse. When the nurse walked in she looked at me and heard my complaints of pressure and wanting to poop and push – she called the doctor and began setting up the room for delivery. She knew at that point (10:45 pm) that it was time.

Once the doctor came in she check me again and in just 15 minutes I went from 7 to 10 cm dilated. Baby boy was ready to make his arrival. After about 8 pushes baby boy, Andrew Jr. entered the world on 5/11/19 @ 11:02 pm, weighing 7 lbs 8 oz. and 21 1/2 inches long.

He arrived right on time for Mother’s Day and it’s true- be careful about what you wish for. ❤ This will forever be a Mother’s Day that I will never forget.

FLWE ❤

Upcoming Post: PP Weight Update

Mom Life, Parenting, Pregnancy Journey

Home Update & Thank You’s

This post is long overdue, but as you can see our first week home has consisted of a lot of sleeping and snuggling with our newborn (Baby Andrew).

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I would like to thank everyone who has reached out via phone and social media congratulating us on our newest edition. Thank you for the gifts we are still receiving.

A special thank you to all of my husbands co-workers for surprising him at work that Friday before baby’s unexpected arrival with a baby shower. You all were right on time with planning this celebration. We truly appreciate each of you for your kindness and thoughtfulness. Far too often, Daddy’s are not celebrated like us Mommy’s. It really means a lot to each of us.

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After having hubby home with me for a week I am not looking forward to him returning to work tomorrow. He is also not looking forward to it as well. He has been such a great help with our little Jr. and around the house as we settled into our new routines. I was totally surprised at all of the help he has been with assisting me with managing breast feeding and pumping to increase my supply of breast milk. But oh man, he gets a little crazy when he controls the speed and suction of the breast pump. I felt like he was coaching me in a marathon- “up the speed- up the suction- repeat”. Needless to say, my supply is in and heavy- all thanks to him. Pushing me to limits as usual, even when I don’t have the will.

Since I am breast feeding exclusively that has been part of the reason why I have taken a hiatus from blogging and social media. The first few weeks are a challenge when trying to meet the demands of a hungry baby, especially until your supply comes in. Skin to skin and bonding overall with your newborn is crucial to your success. I was determined to breastfeed 100%. With our first daughter Abby, I attempted but gave up shortly after due to frustration of not being able to get her to latch well. With our second daughter Hope, I pumped exclusively and then bottle fed her. I was so proud that Jr. latched immediately after delivery when we had our first skin to skin moment.

Since adjusted, I will be resuming my normal blogging schedule this week. So, please be sure to remain connected for updates: LIKE, SHARE, SUBSCRIBE.

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Upcoming Post Topic: My Birthing Story – [TO BE POSTED THIS WEEK]

FLWE ❤

Mom Life

International Bereaved Mother’s Day

International Bereaved Mother’s Day was created by Carly Marie Dudley in 2010, to honor Mother’s Internationally who have loved and lost. This day is observed on the first Sunday in May. This day was created to uplift and celebrate Mothers who often feel left out on Mother’s day. As a Mother who has suffered losses I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of this day to honor us. I believe that we become Mother’s at conception and acceptance (biological and non-biological). Whether your children are living or have gained their wings, each are counted for.

With Mother’s Day approaching next Sunday I want women to be reminded of what “motherhood” truly is: the state or experience of having or raising a child. Mother’s day should celebrate all women who have conceived, birthed, lost, adopted, raised, and/or trying to conceive. Being a Mother develops in your heart and is far greater than what we observe on Mother’s Day.

FLWE ❤

Mom Life, Parenting

Happy 5th Birthday to Our Wild Child

Today, we celebrate you- Abigail Joann (Abby). Our Taurus baby. Our wild child.

For those of you that do not know Abby, here are some words to describe her character:

  • Stubborn = Determined
  • Loud = Rambunctious
  • Animated = Passionate
  • Hyper = Exhilarating
  • Chatty = Conversational
  • Wild = Free
  • Independent = Self Reliant
  • Personable = Charming

That’s just a few words to describe our powerhouse of a child. While some of her traits are as sweet as honey they can also be as sour as vinegar. Yet, every piece of her attitude and personality is what makes her, Abby. There is a positive behind every trait that she poses. However, sometimes at the age of 5 you haven’t quite figured out how to use your traits for the greater good. With continuous moral coaching and developing Abby will be able to use her traits in all positive ways in order to make the world we live in a better place. Her charisma will be inspiring to others as she exemplifies being determined, rambunctious, passionate, exhilarating, conversational, free, self reliant and charming.

Again, Happy Birthday to our powerhouse! Mommy and Daddy are oh so proud to be your parents.

FLWE ❤

Mom Life, Parenting

Pre-Kindergarten Reading Challenge: Abby’s List of Books Read

Here is a look into Abby’s list of books read:

Our local library has a great handout with books listed for preschool, pre-reading books, and beginning to read books. There is a challenge to read 100 books before Kindergarten and we have committed to checking each book, one by one off our our list. Since Abby finds so much excitement in her weekly library visits this was the perfect way to get her prepared to start Kindergarten in the Fall.

Currently, Abby checks out 5-7 books per week and we read each night. When I saw these handouts at the library a few weekends ago I knew instantly that it was a great way to prepare her for Kindergarten in the coming months. I still let her pick and choose her own books based off of what she would like to read and learn about. Independence and choice is something we value greatly. By allowing Abby to select her own books we have noticed an increase in her excitement towards reading and story time.

In our nightly reading sessions I also incorporate reading from our bible story time book. Each story has a moral and it really has been beneficial in emphasizing the importance of character development. She is learning about character development and doesn’t even realize it; the life lessons learned during our bible story time are important and relates directly to the teaching of faith in our household.

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With baby #3 on board I will definitely will be exposing Jr. to books early and continue to use story time as a time for bonding and learning. I already have plans to attend baby story time, an event at our local library when I am out on maternity leave.

I will continue to keep my readers updated on our reading journey. With Sunday approaching- Abby has already bagged her library books from this past week and they are ready to be returned. Hopefully, I will be able to finish reading the book I checked out a few weeks ago (How to Raise Kind Kids by Thomas Lickona) in the next week before Jr. arrival. I have a few other books on my list of books to read that I want to check out while I am on leave.

FLWE ❤