Our Birth Story

While I do share some personal posts on here, I did not share my birth story with our first born. After going through this birth though, I felt compelled to share the absurdity of this story. My cluelessness is mostly what makes it so absurd.

Let me reiterate up front how amazing I think it is for any woman to give birth, regardless of how baby arrives. I have had an epidural birth and a natural birth. They both have pros and cons to me so I really do not have a preference and don’t want to get on my high horse and preach. I also want to let you know that I always thought people who had a natural birth were rockstars and probably really calm through the whole thing. Some people probably are – I was not. There are no rainbows and unicorns in this post. Just a lot of denial and hysteria.

To begin, I had had a head/sinus cold since Monday (baby was born on a Friday), which I somehow feel is relevant. On Thursday night I was asleep by 8:15.

I woke up Friday morning around 5:45 and started having some contractions around 6:30 when I was working out. Since this wasn’t uncommon, I didn’t think anything of them and just paused my workout as usual until they passed.I had some mild contractions throughout the morning, but nothing consistent or show stopping. I really didn’t even notice them. I went to the Dr around 9:30 (I was originally scheduled for noon, but they called and asked me to come in early). She did a pelvic exam and said I was 2CM dilated and had an anterior cervix. Realistically, that doesn’t mean much of anything as you can walk around that way for days, or even weeks, as far as I’ve heard.

I went home and walked with my Mother in law to bring our older to day care. It’s about a half mile. On the walk there I started having more consistent contractions, but if I’m being honest I didn’t time it or think about it. That was around 10:10.

After dropping him off we walked home then headed out to meet my husband for lunch. As we arrived around 11:30 I had noticed that my contractions seemed more consistent so I started timing them and they were 4-6 minutes apart. They were still manageable as we sat and ate lunch. I was able to walk through them and no one really noticed I was having them. At this point I decided I’d call the hospital, but was still pretty sure it was a false alarm.

I called the birthing center at 12:30 and they said I was welcome to stay home since I could walk/talk through them but to definitely come in if I noticed blood more than spotting or if my water broke.

I told my husband I had a lot to do and I wasn’t sure how to proceed. He said to just do my thing and call him if I needed. So, I drove to Target to do some errands. By this time my contractions were consistently about 3 minutes apart and getting stronger. I finished my errands quickly and headed home. I forgot 90% of what I went there for and was definitely laboring at this point.

I called Pat at 1:30 and asked him to come home as I was getting super emotional. He walked in as I was putting on my make-up and adding a few things to our bag. I started crying hysterically telling him I wasn’t ready. I thought we had more time to shower Nate with love as an only child. I sent him out to get Nate.

They arrived home at 2:20 and my contractions were definitely getting more painful. I had been texting my friend who is an L& D nurse. I still thought there was a good chance this was a false alarm. My friend said it wouldn’t hurt to go in. I was also texting our friends to have them stop over to watch Nate. We had sent our family home earlier in the day because, again, I thought it was a false alarm.

We finally left for the hospital around 3:20/3:30. I had a few contractions on the 10 minute drive to the hospital. Prior to labor, I had decided I didn’t want pain medication and told Pat earlier in the week that I might change my mind, but not to ask me if I wanted pain meds. So, if I asked for it do what he could, but don’t offer it to me. In the elevator on the way up from parking I told him I definitely wanted pain meds and there was no way I could do it without them. The contractions were getting painful, but lasting less time (about 25 seconds).

We were admitted into our room at 3:49PM and I was 7cm dilated. To be honest, I was convinced I would only be about 3CM max. I told her I wanted an epidural NOW. They started an IV (between contractions), and did blood work. Since they have to wait for the IV bag to drain, and since it ALWAYS takes forever for it to drain for me, they called the anesthesiologist and had everything prepped for the epidural and the delivery. They told me if my water broke I probably wouldn’t be able to get an epidural.

My contractions were so painful at this point and every time I had one, I would stand up and Pat would put counter pressure on my backs/hips. I stayed calm and focused on breathing. I finally laid down at some point and Pat continued to apply counter pressure to my back and hips.

At 4:30 my water EXPLODED and I LOST IT. I started screaming I wanted an epidural and that I couldn’t do it. Pat was right there holding me, telling me other women have done it and that I was definitely strong enough to do it to. The melt down on my end was pretty over-the-top.

Meanwhile, pandemonium ensued in our room. The nurse got on the phone and said “I’m in room 6 and there’s a baby coming NOW!” I rolled onto my back and started to push. The on call Dr was there until my Dr would arrive.

I was literally screaming “get this baby out of me! I want him out!” Like, screaming. The on-call Dr. simply smiled and said “the only way for him to come out is for you to push.” So I pushed, but was in so much pain and screaming at the same time. They said they have some spray they can use to numb it and I replied adamantly, “do whatever you have to do to make it stop!” Pat said they also pulled out a giant needle and used a local anesthetic, but I never saw that. The Dr. said the baby’s heart tones were down so I pushed again as hard as I could. At this point she told me to slow down so I don’t tear too much. After a few more pushes (and a lot more screaming) I felt the sweet relief of him sliding out.

The doctor and nurses were all saying “pull him out into your abdomen” and I was literally looking at them like “why hasn’t someone put the baby on me?”. Then Pat told me to reach down and pull the baby out to my chest. So I Kourtney Kardashian’d it and pulled our sweet baby onto my chest.

All in all I only pushed for 12 minutes and he was born at 4:42 PM. Thankfully, because I basically lost my voice. My doctor rolled in right as the baby got on my chest. She remarked “oh, there’s already a baby?!” Then looked at me and said, “what happened?! I just saw you this morning and I didn’t even strip your membranes.”

In hindsight I would say I started labor around 10:15 AM, meaning I labored for about 6.5 hours from start until arrival. I was also at the hospital less than an hour before he was born, so it’s a good thing we finally went in when we did!

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 39 Weeks

How far along? 39 Weeks

Baby Size: A pumpkin

Weight gain: Holding steady at 35.5lbs

Maternity clothes? I mostly wear one pair of maternity jeans at this point since they are the only pair that don’t roll down or feel too constricting. By about 4:00 I am ready to quit pants all together though. Anyone else go through this?

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: We got to tour the hospital, and we filled out all of the paper work where the baby will be born. It’s a really nice hospital and it’s comforting knowing that we have done all the leg work for when baby is ready to roll in. Now we wait!

Miss Anything? Still missing that quality sleep. I never had many issues sleeping with our first. In fact, I think I slept better during that entire pregnancy than I have in my entire life. Between peeing every hour, regardless of when I stop drinking liquids, and having a cold now, I’m lucky to sleep 2 or 3 hours straight. I will probably get MORE sleep with a newborn!

Movement: He’s moving around, but it’s definitely clear he is running out of room. I forgot how weird movement feels this late in pregnancy.

Food cravings: Still crushing fruit. Pineapple, mango, nectarines, and oranges are my favorite. I’m also noticing that I’m really only getting my protein from meat once per day, and overall struggling to care about protein.

Gender: Boy #2!

Looking forward to: We still need a baby monitor, so I am looking forward to getting that. We still have our old one, but it’s pretty much on its way out. I think once we have that and move some furniture we will have everything where we want it for when baby is here, so we can just relax and get used to being a family of four.

The Final Countdown

I hope everyone gets that song stuck in their head when they read that caption. Now that we are in the final countdown the biggest struggle for me is to make sure that the innocent inquiries of others does not drive me crazy. Based on our first born I am mentally prepared to be at least a week late. Our first was induced at 39 weeks 5 days and was not even close to being on his way. I am also anticipating this baby being over 9lbs.

As the time gets closer I am just keeping my days normal. I am still running and working out. We still have plans for the weekends and afternoons. I don’t want to go stir crazy, so I would rather not just sit around and wait for the baby to come. He will roll in when he is ready. In the meantime, I am soaking up as much play with big brother as possible. We have been playing outside a TON (our neighborhood is full of kids), hitting up the museum, aquarium, and pool as much as possible.

I also have everything prepared for the next few months for my Fitness With Kristen ladies. I want to make sure they are all set up for success while I am recovering. I have so many ideas and “to dos” for my business after the baby gets here, and I know it will take a lot for me to let those ideas sit for a little while longer so I can properly recover and bond with baby. Of course, I have already put together my postpartum workout plan for once I am ready to slowly become active again.

Finally, we have made 4 dozen banana muffins that are in the freezer. I also plan to freeze some chili and vitamin loaf this week for us to have when things get crazy. I remember with our first that having those freezer meals were so important to my energy. I was able to still eat well which helped us both get the nutrients we needed to recover from birth. I plan to nurse again if I can, which means I need to have the right nutrients for baby to grow big and strong like his big brother.

What else have you done to prepare before baby arrives?

 

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 38 Weeks

How far along? 38 Weeks

Baby Size: A winter melon

Weight gain: 35.5lbs

Maternity clothes? I have one pair of maternity jeans that I wear pretty much all the time, and about four shirts I circulate. Most of my maternity shirts are too short on me!

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: Seeing big brother walk around and sleeping with his baby. Hopefully this is a sign that he will tolerate baby brother…

Miss Anything? Quality sleep. This week has been a rough week of sleep between 34932 pee breaks every night and thinking about all of the stuff I want to get done.

Movement: He seems to be especially active when I am driving. Seems safe.

Food cravings: All the fruit. Continued. Nectarines, pineapple, oranges, strawberries, and mangos.

Gender: Boy #2!

Looking forward to: Feeling somewhat organized for the baby. He will eventually bunk with big brother, but to begin with he will be in our room. Right now is dresser is in the guest room and we don’t have a crib for when he does eventually bunk with big brother (probably not for a few months). I look forward to getting his stuff as organized as possible.

Still Running!

At this point in my pregnancy with our first I had to hang up my running shoes. I was still able to get out for some walks, but my pubis bone simply could not handle running. I remember taking two weeks off and trying again at 39 weeks and it burned so bad I was positive his head was coming out of me!

While this is an entirely different pregnancy, I am speculating that part of the reason I can still run is because I have been keeping everything outside of running low impact. I started lower impact in the first trimester, simply because my round ligaments were so uncomfortable. By the second trimester, my weight had shifted enough that I did not want to do long-term damage to my pelvic floor, so I continued taking the impact out of my workouts (i.e. squats in place of squat jumps, low impact burpees, etc.). My speculation is that since I have been kinder to my pelvic floor this time, and even worked on keeping it strong, that I am able to run longer into my pregnancy than I was able to with my first.

I will have no qualms about hanging up my running shoes this time whenever it seems necessary. In fact, I had a few times where I thought I might have to. So far though, especially now that we are back at sea level, my running feels comfortable. I even got a stroller run in this week (which I haven’t done at all during pregnancy) and it felt comfortable. I am enjoying the endorphin rush I get from running, and how accomplished I feel after getting my run in. I am hoping, no matter what, that I can continue to engage in some form of activity until baby is ready to arrive.

 

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 37 Weeks

How far along? 37 Weeks

Baby Size: At last week’s appointment he was weighing in at seven pounds five ounces.

Weight gain: 33.5lbs

Maternity clothes? I have mostly shifted to taking over Pat’s clothing. I wear maternity pants or leggings, and all of his sweatshirts and old T-shirts he doesn’t mind me stretching out.

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: Seeing baby one more time and learning that he is indeed head down. My doctor also told me that active women tend to have bigger babies because they have better blood flow to the uterus. I found that very interesting, and was happy to learn why I grow these beasts despite remaining relatively active and healthy.

Miss Anything? Not peeing 600 times per night. I fall back to sleep pretty quickly, but it would be nice to only pee once per night instead for 5 or so.

Movement: He is a squirmy wormy, and has really taken to hitting his brother when we are sitting together at night. I am sure this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Food cravings: All the fruit. Still.

Gender: Boy #2!

Looking forward to: Touring the hospital and getting an idea of where we will be having this baby! I have heard great things about the hospital.

What’s In My Hospital Bag?

I know a lot of people don’t really pack their hospital bag until labor hits, especially with their second kid. That’s just not my style. I had it packed around 32 weeks, with all the car seats installed with our first. Now at 37 weeks my bag is ready to go. After wearing one outfit pretty much the whole time I was in the hospital the first time (hello sexy postpartum diaper! + tank top) I will definitely be decreasing what I have packed. Further, I was able to bring a book last time to read when baby was sleeping or in the early stages of labor when I was not allowed to get up (I was induced, so I was hooked up to machines most of the time). I am positive, with another little one at home, and hopefully going into labor naturally this time, that there will be no reading.

Here’s what is in my bag:

  • Snacks – Last time I brought a few snacks, and called my Mom the day I gave birth and asked her to bring me more. Between labor and delivery + breastfeeding, my body needed nutrients. The hospital food was not nearly enough to fill me up, nor did it have enough vitamins. On top of asking my mom to bring me extra snacks, I also sent Pat out every night to get me a second dinner. I plan to be much more prepared with snacks this time.
  • A refillable water bottle – I drank so much water last time I labored, especially between contractions. After each contraction but was right there offering me water (just like we learned in our birthing class – A+ students over here). Our nurse was so pleased with my level of hydration. It also helped after baby was born because there is nothing like nursing thirst. I need gallons of ice cold water at all times. Having water bottles to have by my side made it nice when the cup of ice water (which was pretty big) would run out.
  • A maternity dress for going home – last time I brought yoga pants, because I always saw pictures of women going home in their yoga pants and a maternity shirt. With that giant postpartum diaper, I don’t know how these women were pulling those yoga pants off. I ended up going home in some enormous sweat pants. I will still bring a pair of those, but I would also like a dress just in case I want to feel like a human.
  • Comfortable tank tops – These were great for nursing last time, and the fact that your body runs at about 1000 degrees after giving birth (or was that just me?).
  • Throw away socks – Speaking of being super hot, my feet still get cold despite the rest of my body being overheated. I brought socks for my labor and delivery, but you know those were a hot mess after. I’m sure I could wear the sexy hospital socks, but I wanted my own. I made sure they were a pair I didn’t care about so I could throw them away. I plan to do the same this time.
  • A present for big brother – This is probably a thing of our generation, I don’t know, but I want to bring something for big brother to get from the baby when he comes to visit. Nothing big, just a train or truck he can play with from his baby brother. I am sure it will have zero impact on his adjustment, but I’ll bring one anyway on the off chance that it does help!
  • Baby book/journal to jot down notes – We got big brother’s foot prints when he was born and want to do that this time. We should probably get a baby book for this baby so we can get his prints as well, and store them appropriately. After giving birth last time we jotted down notes about our nurses and experience that we promptly forgot within days. It is nice to have those memories to look back on. I would like to do that this time as well.
  • Small bag of toiletries – Taking a shower was so rejuvenating but I would much prefer my own shampoo etc. I packed sample shampoo, conditioner, face wash, lotion, and a razor. I will also bring a brush and might get wild with some hair gel (doubtful).
  • Something to hold back hair – Nothing annoyed me more than my hair being in my way last time. My hair was pretty short the first time, and even shorter this time. I will still bring a headband because I can’t handle the extra sweat on my forehead and neck from hair being in my way.
  • Whatever Pat needs – He is in charge of his own packing, but we put all of our stuff in one duffle bag.

What else did you bring in your hospital bag that was a necessity?

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 36 Weeks

How far along? 36 Weeks

Baby Size: A papaya

Weight gain: No scale this week either, but at least 32.5.

Maternity clothes? I was all about shorts and dresses the last few days, but since it is cooler here, I’ll be rocking some severe mom jeans that have a maternity waist, with my husband’s sweatshirts.

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: Finally arriving to our new home and seeing where baby will be living.

Miss Anything? My legs have been really tired lately when I do weighted workouts or anything besides walking/running. I’m sure it is just the extra weight, but I am missing my legs not feeling so tired all the time.

Movement: He has been quite active this week, especially when I am driving.

Food cravings: All the fruit.

Gender: Boy #2!

Looking forward to: Getting started on setting up the baby’s half of the room with his big brother.

How Are We In The Last Month?

Somehow at 35 weeks pregnant, everything still seems so far away. One week later at 36 weeks it’s crazy that we are in the last month until the estimated due date. While I have no delusions that this baby will come early, if he arrived next week he would be considered term. That’s NUTS!

We have finally arrived to our new home, so I guess it’s time to actually start planning for him. We of course want to get his stuff set up with big brother. We also want to tour the hospital, find the location of the hospital (usually helpful), and put together a plan of action for when he is ready to make his appearance.

I guess it is also time to seriously start thinking about the birth itself and preparing for the pain that I know is to come, so this isn’t my first rodeo. First though, I will meet my doctor today. I hope I like her, because at this point there’s not much time to shop around!

In terms of fitness, my goal is just to maintain where I am, and reduce as needed. Now that we are at sea level, I am feeling pretty good with the exception of how tired my legs are. Hopefully a few good nights of sleep and some extra stretching will help.

Starting this weekend (once we get our belongings moved in and settled) I plan to start some serious meal prep for after baby arrives. I made a ton of food before our first born arrived, and it was a LIFE SAVER. We had friends bringing us food, but this was still so helpful for breakfast and lunch.

I also have to finish up a certification I have been working on, so I am hoping to get that done this week as well. Plus, of course, I have TONS of new stuff that I want to add for my Fitness With Kristen members. I have been working on a few things that I won’t be able to have available for them until after the baby is born, but the bulk of it is already finished. Plus, of course we have our Tank Top Arms Challenge starting for my members coming up this week. I know that will also keep me busy, and keep me motivated through the last month to stay healthy!

I guess I should pack my hospital bag at some point too…

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 35 Weeks

How far along? 35 Weeks

Baby Size: A pineapple

Weight gain: No scale this week or next week due to travel, but at least 32.5.

Maternity clothes? It’s finally been warm enough to wear dresses, so that’s pretty much been my staple.

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: Normally I workout in the morning, which lulls baby to sleep for a few hours. Yesterday, I didn’t workout until the evening and I could feel him kicking ALL DAY waiting for me to rock him to sleep.

Miss Anything? Breathing. This baby is huge (or so it seems!) and everything is so squished. I am looking forward to breathing air again. A whole lung full!

Movement: He’s so squirmy!

Food cravings: La Croix.

Gender: Boy #2!

Looking forward to: Breathing. Also, organizing everything for the baby in our new home.

Traveling So Late In Pregnancy

We are finally moving, and we are road tripping out to our new home. This is a two day (/10 day because we want to visit family and friends!) voyage. This can be rough when you’re pregnant, traveling with a pregnant woman, and/or traveling with a toddler.

Thankfully our little guy is overall pretty good on long car rides. We get out and play every few hours, and stop to pee every 20 minutes, so he gets a lot of time to stretch his legs.

As I am getting so close to the end of my pregnancy, my nutrition and fitness both feel extremely important to me. We packed a ton of snacks, including fruit, Quest bars, tons of water, La Croix, and anything we didn’t want to throw out when we packed up our house. I also have my BCAAs, electrolyte water, and protein powder with me. This means pre and post workout, I am well fueled.

I have a tentative plan for when I will do most of my workouts throughout our travel, ensuring I don’t lose much fitness during the move. This is extremely important to me as I near the end of my pregnancy, because I still want to keep up and help out with my toddler as long as possible. I also have the end goal of labor and delivery, and recovery. Working on my fitness, and maintaining decent nutrition, will ideally help me for these upcoming tasks.

One thing I have started doing on driving days, because being in a car, inactive for that long drives me crazy. Each time we stop I do some walking lunges, chase my son, swing him into the air, or do a 1:00 squat challenge. Whatever I can do to get my heart rate up in the short amount of time I have, without disrupting our trip. Otherwise, I make sure to either get up early and workout, or plan for a late workout and stick to it. Getting in activity in the morning, or knowing I will be working out that evening, encourages me to eat well to refuel or to get ready for my workout.

The hotels we have stayed at have weights, but if you are traveling and don’t have weights, try this pregnancy workout:

  • Elevated Push-Ups – 1:00
  • Donkey Kicks – 20 Total
  • Tricep Dips – 1:00
  • Walking Lunges – 20 Total
  • Wall Sit – 1:00

After you warm-up, complete 2-5 rounds of this workout, depending on fitness level. Remember, if you have the green light from your doctor, exercise is great for both you AND baby! You don’t have to do a crazy amount of exercise. Just do something. It is always more beneficial than nothing.

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 34 Weeks

How far along? 34 Weeks

Baby Size: A butternut squash

Weight gain: 32.5lbs

Maternity clothes? I’m busting out of all my maternity clothes. Baggy PJs, workout clothes, and dresses for the win!

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: Big brother saying “Hooray!” when we tell him he’s going to be a big brother. Even though he doesn’t really understand it, and he is repeating it from a book we read to him, it is super cute.

Miss Anything? Tolerating water. I remember this with our first born as well – I just can’t stand the taste of water. I have an electrolyte water everyday, and enjoy some La Croix, but in order to be sufficiently hydrated I need to be drinking regular water as well, and it’s a struggle right now.

Movement: So much movement, especially at night and after lunch. He has a lot of jumping around to do and I can feel him all over my belly. It’s not as centralized as my first pregnancy.

Food cravings: Oranges and mangos. All day, everyday. Still.

Gender: Boy #2!

Looking forward to: Packing up and hitting the road to settle into our new place. We will have a little over a week of travel before we arrive to our new place, but we are looking forward to visiting friends and family along the way!

Baby Registry

While we already have our first born and have been through the baby shower before, many of our friends are having their first baby. For some reason they trust our input and have asked us “what are the essentials needed for when baby arrives?” “What should we put on our registry?”

Of course, everyone is different and some of these things will vary, but there are a few things that I would definitely recommend to my friends that I was so happy to have, or wish we had sooner.

  • Crib or Bassinet (including mattress & sheets)
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Pack & Play – This isn’t a real necessity, but a really nice extra to have. We got one with a changing table and set it up downstairs. That way, our little one could nap downstairs, and we didn’t have to go upstairs every time he needed a diaper change.
  • Boppy – I found this incredibly helping with nursing and used it for most of the time I nursed our son, but especially at night. Beyond nursing, this was a great device for supervised tummy time, and for letting him rest at an angle after eating.
  • Nose Frieda – I know people are so grossed out by this, but it’s much more sanitary than the booger suction gadget from the hospital (though I used that too, so no judgement here), and it’s SO EASY to used and gets out some really giant boogers. I found this to be a much more efficient device when it came to getting that boogery nose clear.
  • Sleep Sheep – we wanted to have some sound to help our son fall asleep, but we didn’t want him to rely on noise to stay asleep throughout the entire night. This has a 20 & 45 minutes timer and four different sound options. It has velcro so you can attach it to the outside of the crib. As our son got older and it became safe, we were able to velcro it inside of his crib so that he can play with it when he wakes up.
  • Halo Sleep Sack – we liked these over simpler swaddles because as our son transitioned from being swaddled to arms out, this was a much simpler way to keep his body swaddled.
  • Rock & Play – we want our little guy to nap and sleep in his crib from the get-go this time, but this was such a lifesaver for me when I wanted to cook, clean, workout, or do anything quick where I needed both hands and full range of motion. I could keep it close by and rock it with my foot to help keep him calm, and still keep an eye on him while getting whatever I needed done. This was a lifesaver when it came to showering during deployment!
  • Baby Carrier – This was how I went food shopping with just one kid, so I know it will be clutch when it comes to having two kids. I always hated lugging that car seat around, so the baby carrier was a much better option for me. Again, this gave me function of my hands and was a real life saver when my little guy was having extra clingy days where he didn’t want to be put down. I’m pretty sure all babies go through that phase, so it was nice to be able to get some laundry done or even go for a walk with friends, while still being able to comfort my little one.

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 33 Weeks

How far along? 33 Weeks

Baby Size: A pineapple!

Weight gain: 28lbs

Maternity clothes? I think my maternity clothes are getting too small. All of my shirts are too short on me now. Looking forward to warmer weather so I just wear my dresses.

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: Pat getting to feel a ton of movement recently.

Miss Anything? Not feeling like a whale. Getting in and out of bed to pee 600x per night proves to be quite a task. As does getting up and down from the ground or off the couch. This big belly definitely limits my mobility!

Movement: He is super active now and gives me some good wallops while I’m driving.

Food cravings: Oranges and mangos. All day everyday.

Gender: Boy #2!

Looking forward to: Getting all settled in with our new doctor and seeing where baby will be born.

Eating For Two

Often times when it comes to eating less nutritious food, I will hear people say that pregnancy is the only time they can eat that. While I can see how people think that since pregnancy means weight gain, they think that eating junk food is good, I would argue that pregnancy is actually the WORST time to not focus on your nutrition.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying your food has to be full of nutrients 100% of the time that you are pregnant. That will make you crazy. I’m simply thinking that filling up on soda, fries, ice cream, and chocolate throughout an entire pregnancy does not offer a lot of vitamins and minerals to growing baby. This is a vital time for baby and we all want what is best for our baby. Body image aside, nutrients are super important for a growing fetus. This is when their brain begins to grow, and all of their limbs and organ begin to develop. Feeding that growth with vitamins seems like a vital move to me.

I am often shocked when people harmlessly offer out this advice. Being pregnant isn’t about body image. It isn’t about “letting yourself go” or eating whatever you want because you “get to be fat”. It’s about growing a human. It’s a really important job and getting vitamins and minerals is super important. Of course having some fries, or chocolate from time to time is no issue. Just like when you are not pregnant.

It is all a balancing act between your sanity and your health. I simply think the “excuse” of being pregnant is not the best reason to eat nutrient void food. In fact, I think it’s one of the most important times to be aware of your nutrition and focus on getting vitamin rich food where possible. Don’t let your pregnancy or your kids be your excuse for overeating junk food and being sedentary. Instead, let them be your motivation to take care of yourself and fill your body with vitamin rich food to help THEM grow and help YOU have the energy to take care of them!

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 32 Weeks

How far along? 32 Weeks

Baby Size: A Squash! He’s over 4lbs at this point.

Weight gain: 26.5lbs

Maternity clothes? Rocking them daily and looking forward to warmer weather so I can just wear some dresses.

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: Having one last ultrasound last Friday. He has gone from the 98th percentile to 60th percentile. I asked if that was a concerning drop but that doctors said that is much more normal based on my son’s birth and much more manageable from a giving birth standpoint.

Miss Anything? My limbs not falling asleep while I’m trying to sleep.

Movement: He is getting really crazy and loves to party from about 9-11PM. He also somehow manages to kick my bladder and the top of my uterus at the same time.

Food cravings: Oranges. Mangos. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Dying for a really good, huge, veggie sandwich.

Gender: Boy #2!

Looking forward to: Getting to our new home to settle in and meet the medical team that I will be with when I actually have this baby.

Preparing to Move

As we get ready for our big move in less than three weeks, I am pretty much sitting here feeling content. I know a lot of people get stressed about moving and my husband encouraged me to write about how I prepare for our moves. Mostly, how I plan to remain healthy during our move. I told him I have nothing to offer because it doesn’t stress me out, but he reminded me that it’s because I already have everything planned in my head.

I forget sometimes that planning is so second nature to me I don’t realize I am doing it. Here’s what I have done so far to prepare for our move.

I have already set up my doctor’s appointment for the day after we arrive. This gives me 20 days to get my insurance all caught up with my doctors, since that always seems to be a nightmare. I have also mentally decided some of the staples I will cook and freeze for after the baby arrives (banana muffins & pancakes, vitamin loaf, and chili to name a few). Those first few weeks of delirious exhaustion are no joke, and the only thing that got me through it with our first born is lots of help and nutritious food on hand. I can only pretend to imagine how much more tired I will be having two children to take care of, so my nutrition is extremely important to me.

We will have a 10 day trip to get from our house now to our new residence. We will leave on a Wednesday and stay in a hotel that night. I plan to do a workout at the hotel gym that evening after we have settled in and put our little guy down to bed. Normally I would workout first thing in the morning before a long road trip, but we will be at 9,000 feet elevation that morning and breathing is barely an option for me now, so I doubt I’ll function very well at that elevation. If we get in too late on Wednesday then I will do my weighted workout first thing Thursday morning before we leave. Thursday evening we will arrive at our family’s house, and I plan to have one or two sets of weights in the car with us. I can do my weighted workout first thing Friday morning before a day full of activities that I’m already planning. Monday morning I will do the same before we head north of LA to visit our friends. Since I will be visiting one of my friends who is also a Fitness With Kristen member, I know we will find time to get our workout in that Wednesday before I leave. My group also has travel workouts, so if I don’t end up bringing my weights with me, I know I’ll be covered with plenty of body weight workouts that I can do on the road.

Since I have an outline of my workouts, I know I will want to eat well because I don’t like feeling bogged down during my workouts. I always pack tons of snacks for our road trips, and when we stop I usually focus on getting protein and some veggies and/or fruit with each meal. This could look like a grilled chicken sandwich with bacon (or avocado), lettuce, tomato, and some fruit on the side. I might opt for a burger with lettuce, tomato, and a side salad. These are easy enough to get on the go and they fill be up without bogging me down. I also focus on getting a TON of hydration in to ensure I don’t have super swollen limbs by time we arrive to our destination. I’ll be 36 weeks pregnant when we arrive to our new home, so I would like to be as comfortable as possible when we arrive, which means hydrating well throughout the trip.

In terms of our arrival, I have already set our son up for swim lessons and put him on a waitlist for the development center. On the front end, I have already informed his school of his last day and sorted through all of the baby clothes we have in the house so that everything will be ready for when we arrive. All of the newborn clothes will come in the car with us in case there is a delay in household goods being delivered, or if the baby decides to arrive early. Otherwise, there does not seem to be much left for us to do except to finish all the perishables in the house.

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 31 Weeks

How far along? 31 Weeks

Baby Size: Coconut

Weight gain: 28lbs

Maternity clothes? Rocking some sweet maternity jorts and comfortable maternity shirts. I’m pretty sure I’ll be ending out this pregnancy in dresses.

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: Hearing baby’s heartbeat and witnessing him give the nurse a hard time and move around every time she got him on the monitor.

Miss Anything? Feeling pretty good this week. I’ll be cutting back on running a bit and I know that will be a struggle for me.

Movement: There is a ton of flipping and rolling going on now. He especially enjoys La Croix.

Food cravings: I have had an increased appetite/need to graze all day. I wasn’t making the best choices (hello dark chocolate and chips!). I did some major meal prep on Tuesday to ensure I could fill baby and me up on vitamins. Chocolate and chips aren’t a problem from time to time, but I was noticing I wanted them everyday. Meal prep has helped curb that!

Gender: Boy #2!

Looking forward to: We have on final ultrasound tomorrow to see if baby is still measuring in the 98th percentile. I am looking forward to seeing him

Slowing Down

I feel that before I jump into this, I have to make a few “disclaimers” if you will. First, it seems I am setting a habit of having pretty uneventful pregnancies, except for one major drama. Second, I pass everything I do by my doctors and if anything feels off I always err on the side of caution. I know there can be a lot of internet doctors who get concerned, but I assure you I communicate with my Drs and always ask them if I should be slowing down or cutting back. They are always up to date on what my activity levels are.

This weekend was definitely interesting. For the most part, I have been sticking to 3-4 mile runs, 4 days per week. I stick to my treadmill now, as I don’t want to be too far from the house (I had some Braxton-Hicks a month or so ago while out on a run, and they took longer than I felt comfortable with to calm down, even when I stopped to walk). I stop each mile and take at least a 40 second break during my treadmill runs. Everything has felt fine and I have made sure to eat before I run, drink 20oz of water before I run, and drink an electrolyte water after each run.

Last week I had been feeling pretty good and wanted to meet up with a local running group for one last group run before tapping out for the rest of pregnancy. We kept the pace nice and slow – a little slower than I do on the treadmill. We stopped a little under a mile in (pee break) and around mile 3 to assess how we felt. We all caught our breath then continued on. I did my normal breakfast and water beforehand, had water with me in the car, and drank an electrolyte water upon returning from the run. We did a total of 6.25 miles and I felt great the whole run, but my pubis bone was pretty sore afterward, which is what I expected. I knew based on that that I had made the right call and would no longer be doing longer than 4 miles, and would be keeping it to the treadmill from here on in.

It was a somewhat warm run, in the 50s with all sunshine and no wind. My legs are starting to get noticeably bigger so I chaffed during one of my runs earlier that week, and again during that run. Later that morning I had some errands to run with my son. I showered and got ready. As I sat down to pee for the 258049 time before heading out I noticed the tiniest bit of blood in my underwear. Few things can make me panic like blood during pregnancy. I told my husband about it and he asked if I was worried. It seemed like such a minimal amount but I told him I would keep an eye on it. This was around 10:30.

We went our separate ways and I continued to push fluids. As my son and I were out on our errands I was feeling cramps in my abdomen. I was beginning to get a bit panicked so we went back home and settled in to watch some Thomas. I figured if I kicked my feet up and pushed fluids it would go away. The cramping wasn’t bad. It felt like really mild period cramping. If I hadn’t seen the blood earlier I probably would not be as worried. By 11:30 I called triage and they told me to drop in just for peace of mind. I called my husband and we packed up our son (right before nap time) and shuttled down to the hospital.

Once we were all checked in and I told the nurses everything, I gave them a urine sample and they hooked me up to some monitors. They wanted to monitor baby and my uterus. Baby sounded healthy and normal. They were also pleased to see that my urine sample seemed very hydrated. We stayed for a few hours and they did notice that my uterus was “irritated”. They did a few exams to ensure that I wasn’t progressing or going into labor. I continued to push fluids and even though I could no longer feel any cramping my uterus continued to be irritated. Turns out the blood was just from the chaffing (I cannot roll my eyes enough at myself for this one), but I probably would not have gone in just for cramping, so I am glad it was there to get me into the hospital.

After talking to the midwife and nurse, they think that my body was just telling me I overdid it. No more longer runs, and especially no more running without breaks. I asked them if they thought it best for me to just stop running completely. They told me it definitely wasn’t necessary, I just needed to cut back. Something about that longer run, even though it felt OK during the run, did not agree with my body. I was even told that if I stopped running before I really needed to that I would probably go crazy (I feel like this team really gets me). They also said they have a lot of elite athletes who go through there during their pregnancies, and sometimes their body gives them this signal. So, slow down, but I don’t have to just sit on the couch for the rest of my pregnancy.

I rested for the rest of the day, making sure to really push fluids. I always rest on Sundays, so that was easy enough to continue doing. On Monday, I normally run and do my FWK workout, but this Monday I stuck to just my workout. On Tuesday I did a 2-mile treadmill run and rested a lot more throughout the run. Even though my body felt fine DURING that longer run on Saturday, it was definitely signaling to me AFTERWARD that it was not up for that level of activity anymore. I will listen!

The whole point of running and exercising, for me, during pregnancy, is to stay healthy and keep my baby healthy. When my body indicates it’s time to cut back, I will always do that. I have no interest in putting either of us at risk for an extra mile, or an extra rep. I have nothing to prove. My goal is to get to childbirth, survive it, have a healthy baby, and recover well. Pushing too hard, or ignoring my body’s signals to slow down will ultimately detract from that goal. If you’re having to slow down during pregnancy, embrace it. It can be really difficult, but scaling is not the end of the world. Slowing down is not the end of the world. If it’s what your body needs, you will always benefit from listening to that!