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 ❤

Fitness Journey, Pregnancy Journey

Staying Active While Pregnant: Week 39

This picture does no justice to show how big my belly is 🙂
At least, I am still able to see my feet.

Exercising while pregnant does not have to be extensive or exhausting. Since approaching my final weeks of pregnancy, I have transitioned to strictly walking. In the mornings I challenge myself to complete 1 mile of walking between the hours of 5-7 am. I enjoy this time the most because the morning crisp air feels good and wakes me up as I prepare myself for the day ahead. I really do not enjoy the heat so I am more encouraged to workout/walking during the early morning hours. This is a great time to get moving since it is considered ‘fasted cardio.’

Around lunch time I strive to get in another mile or two. Throughout, the day I also work to meet my hourly step goal of 250+ steps between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. I easily reach my step goal of 5,000 steps by 8 am.

Honestly, since I have been walking more in the past few weeks I have been feeling my best. Prior, I was experiencing a lot of back and pelvic pressure from the additional weight from my pregnancy. However, since I have been walking and moving more the pain has eased. My muscles are nicely loosened and relaxed. The tension has completely disappeared. At 39 weeks pregnant I feel more energized than ever. This morning after getting dressed and ready I prepared myself to walk our dog Roger and I sprinted down the stairs so easily. For a moment, I had forgotten that I was pregnant and carrying a estimated 7 lb baby.

Here is a look into my morning walk:

My fitness commitment is to keep moving. I know I can’t run a marathon at this point in my journey. But by moving and staying active it will make for a easier recovery after delivery. Walking not only helps me physically but it is beneficial mentally. Walking relieves stress and we all need to breathe in some fresh often- walking is the best opportunity for this. I use my walking time to catch up on current audiobooks that I am reading. Since I am a busy mom on the go I don’t often have time to sit and read a book. Yet, I don’t use my busy schedule as an excuse- I make it a priority to read on the go through the use of audiobooks. I listen to my books while in the car driving and while walking. The saying is true that we make time for what is important to us.

I encourage you to make time for yourself and your health. Commit to your journey and the progress. Progress requires effort, so you have to be 100% in and committed to the challenge. It only takes 1-2 weeks to form a habit; start today!

FLWE ❤

Pregnancy Journey

Wednesday Weekly Weigh-In: Pregnancy Edition- Week 39

39 weeks, with only 5 days left until Jr. estimated due date. At my appointment yesterday I was only 1.5 cm dilated. Contractions are starting to occur more frequently and are about 15-20 minutes apart when they occur. I find that I experience the most contractions when I am in a resting state.

Today, I indulged in a iced coffee with hopes that it would stimulate some consistent contractions while at work. However, I didn’t notice a major change.

I have been following doctors orders and walking to encourage dilation and the onset of natural labor. Each morning at 6 am I walk for a minimum of 1 mile. This morning I burned 139 calories from walking 1.09 miles. Around lunch time I took another stroll and walked 1.52 miles and burned 227 calories. Walking is such a relaxing exercise and has really helped to loosen up my tight muscles in my lower back and hips. Walking is going to not only condition me for labor but also condition me to get back into the swing of my fitness routine once I am cleared to workout with no restrictions after delivery.

Take a look at my stats from today: (Logged via Fitbit)

I am proud to have met and over exceeded my daily step goal of 5,000 steps and my 30 minute exercise goal. I also nailed my 250+ step goal between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. The hourly tracker is a great reminder for me to step away from my desk and take frequent breaks as needed.

39 Week Milestones & Current Events:

  • Baby is the size of a small Pumpkin
  • Baby is considered full-term
  • Old fetal skin is falling off and replaced with soft baby skin
  • Baby is fully developed, measuring about 19-21 inches long and about 7-8 lbs in weight
  • Mommy has been nesting to the fullest
  • Frequent bathroom breaks on the hour at night is still a thing
  • Cravings: Chocolate Milk, Lunchables Pepperoni Pizzas, Chocolate

At 39 weeks, today I weigh in at 180.6 lbs. My weight has hit a plateau as baby as reached his optimal weight. I really anticipated him arriving earlier based on his measurements at my last two ultrasound appointments but apparently my womb is comfier than MTV cribs and baby is content just where he is. Maybe this is a indicator that he is going to be a Mommy’s boy. I wouldn’t mind this at all since Abby has been a Daddy’s girl from day 1. Hence, the reason why Andrew named her Abigail (meaning: My Father’s Joy).

Continue to follow me on social media for updates as we near Jr. big day!

FLWE ❤

Pregnancy Journey

Wednesday Weekly Weigh-In: Pregnancy Edition- Week 38

At 38 weeks and a few days I am only 1 cm dilated. Doctors appointment are twice a week, as we are anticipating for Jr. arrival, potentially earlier due to his size. I have come to the conclusion that my husband Andrew and I have another stubborn Taurus on our hands. Our oldest, Abby was delivered at over 40 weeks (scheduled induction) because she just was not ready to bless the world with all of her greatness.

With every contraction with our first we always ended up in L&D (Labor and Delivery), as my husband was determined that he was not going to be the one to delivery a baby at home. With baby #3 there will be no false alarms. I will not be going to the hospital until I know I am well into active labor. It is recommended that I increase my walking, stair climbing, and squats to help me along with dilating. I am going to try these recommendations. I will keep you updated on the progress.

We have already passed a lot of predicted dates on our calendar. There are still many dates to come prior to baby’s due date. Still looking forward to see who comes close to predicting Jr. arrival correctly.

FYI: Eating 6-8 Dates in the last 4 weeks to soften cervix is a myth in my opinion.

38 Week Milestones & Current Events:

  • Baby is the size of a Spaghetti Squash
  • Measuring about 20 inches long and weighed 7 lbs and 1 oz (per ultrasound a few weeks ago)
  • Baby is fully developed and continues to practice breathing and swallowing
  • Mommy is experiencing increased hip and pelvic pressure
  • Sleeping is becoming a harder task as it is difficult to get comfortable
  • Cravings: Powerade, Dates, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, Chocolate Milk

At 38 weeks, I weigh in today at: 181.4 lbs. I should be hitting a plateau soon with my weight gain as baby is preparing for delivery. However, he is still packing on his baby fat in the meantime. This weight is definitely challenging to carry since it is all belly and not evenly distributed. I find that it is so easy to lose my balance. I am being very cautious when I walk.

13 days left until 5/14/19- keep checking back and follow me on social media for updates. I will more than likely post first on social media when Jr. arrives. Thank you all for continuing to follow me on my pregnancy journey.

FLWE ❤