One Two Three…Check!

Hey there, for anyone who followed my pregnancy week-by-week posts knows that baby Sawyer joined us in December and life has been crazy ever since. What used to feel so easy can now feel like a jumbled messy disaster, what didn’t require a reminder now hits my weekly to-do list no matter how trivial, and what didn’t require taking stock of my small humans every time we leave the house now requires a frequent one two three check!…okay, they are all accounted for! You could say it’s a result of having three kids, but I really don’t think that’s it. Lots of people have more or less kids (or no kids!) and still feel this way at times. What it boils down to is feeling out of control because my routines and habits are in flux from a major life change. What used to be streamlined is now broken because someone wants to eat or sleep or wake-up or play and this someone happens to be super cute and dependent on me for survival.

We are almost four months into our major life change (otherwise known as Sawyer), and we have found our way to a new normal. We are nowhere close to where we used to be and we have had to make a lot of adjustments along the way. With this, I wanted to share some things that are saving me right now as we continue to work through our adjustment and lean into the chaos.

1.)    Coffee ….yes, I am starting with coffee. It is nothing profound, but it is everything to me. If you really think about the experience of drinking coffee it is often one of our most treasured daily rituals. Every morning before anyone else gets up, I get some hot water going and bust out our French press. I try to enjoy one warm cup all to myself knowing that the remaining cups may be room temperature at best or need to be reheated because you know…kids. Savoring these small moments in the morning or whenever you choose to drink coffee (or maybe tea if that’s how you choose to live your life), can make you feel like a human again if only for those 15 minutes.

2.)    Along these lines, find one hour for yourself every day. For me, this is when I work out during my lunch hour. This hour is my treasured time. It is literally the only hour in my day (aside from sleeping) that I am not doing something for someone else. Giving so much of yourself can be draining and it is so important to take that hour and do whatever it is you want: exercise, read, cook, whatever! Maybe it’s not every day and maybe it’s not even an hour, but everyone deserves to call the shots for themselves at least one time each day.

3.) Audio books for the win.  I love to read but I choose to use my down time in other ways.  With an audio book, I am able to “read” a book on my commute to and from work essentially getting an hour of “reading” in each work day. I use Audible, but I am sure there are other services (or your local library!). Recent “reads” include Michelle Obama’s Becoming and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Go check them both out…they are great.

4.)    Outsource and ask for help where you can. For my family, this means groceries are delivered to our door once a week. If this is within your means, do it. Think about the time you will save NOT wandering around a grocery store (potentially with children in tow who want every crappy grocery store toy they see). Or, trying to find raisins in the snack aisle only to find they are on the other side of the store with produce.  You may also save a little money if you are an impulse buyer because if it’s not in your order it’s not getting delivered to your house! We use Instacart (this is not sponsored…nothing I write is ever sponsored) and have for the last 5 months. Once you place your order you can select replacement options for every single item in case the store is out of an item. This prevents the shopper from getting honey mustard pretzels when you wanted regular pretzels (but seriously…why didn’t they just get another brand of regular pretzels?!?).

I don’t like admitting that I need help, but it’s becoming necessary and that help can come in all forms. Maybe you drop those kids off at your gym’s child watch center and walk on the treadmill for an hour. Maybe you swap date nights with a friend and they watch your kids one weekend night in exchange for watching their kids another night. Or, maybe you go big and hire someone to clean your house or mow your lawn. Whatever it may be, don’t keep it all to yourself, you may go crazy, you may stress yourself out and you likely wont be the best version of you.

5.)    Finally, SAY NO! Don’t take on more than you should because of guilt. Saying yes to one thing can mean saying no to something else that you really value like sanity or free time or sleep. If you insist on bringing something for the school bake sale….buy that shit! don’t kill yourself trying to make Paw Patrol themed cupcakes. If you were looking forward to an evening at home with your partner literally doing nothing but folding laundry after the kids go to bed, turn down that invite to go out for drinks with friends. They will still be your friends and putting on real pants after 8pm is a terrible idea. Guard your time and be deliberate in how you spend it, it is your most valuable resource!

So there it is and I’m going to leave it at that while I go reheat my coffee for the second time and make sure I still have all of my small humans.

Three Months Later….

I’m back (at least for this quick post)! I have missed writing terribly! but finding the time has been a real struggle since my last post (three months ago?!?). You forget how cute little humans require so much of your time and energy on top of my other bigger human children and two fur children, and husband and household to keep in check and oh yeah, a full-time job. But everybody’s busy, right…as my husband said to me recently “no one has cornered the market on being busy”.

Since my last update, Sawyer and I had quite the 9-week maternity leave. We got to know each other, we snuggled a lot, we ate a lot (now I know I can never be someone who works from home full time!), we watched A LOT of Netflix and Amazon Prime (if you need a recommendation I’ve got you covered in my post We watched A Lot of TV), we stayed in on cold snowy days and settled into new routines. I got to pick-up my big kids from school, help them with homework and make weeknight dinners. All things I rarely get to do since Jason beats me home most days, but all things I was thankful for no matter how chaotic at the time.

We are now one month settled into our new normal. Sawyer is adjusting to daycare. He is sleeping through the night, trying to figure out how to control the movements of his arms and legs and still loves being held (can you blame him?).  I am getting settled back into work and figuring out how to manage the responsibilities of our life around the time I spend at work each day.  It’s a balance and I finally feel like we are getting there. While I loved my maternity leave, I am someone who needs to work. First of all, I like food and a house so there are the practical reasons why I work, but more than that I love my autonomy. It’s not even about being amongst other adults; it has everything to do with getting to dictate how I spend my day and what I am going to work on because at home Sawyer calls the shots.

Being back to work ALSO means that I can have an uninterrupted workout each week day! I am lucky enough to have an amazing gym in my office building and being back has really allowed me to get into more predictable workout habits. At home with Sawyer, I made an attempt every week day to work out, but Sawyer often had other plans for me. Some days he was cool with it and took naps, but most days he did not. Many days I would get dressed to workout, put him down for a nap, get 10 minutes in and then he would wake up screaming. Soooo I would stop my workout, go get him and attempt to put him back to sleep and then 10 minutes later he would wake up again. This went on and on until I would ultimately call it a wrap on that day’s workout.

I quickly learned to adjust my expectations for each day and knew that once I got back to work the habit of working out regularly would align and it has. As far as my fitness goals, I am trying to be more reasonable with myself than pre-baby Lauren was. Instead of six days of working out, I aim for five. Instead of all protein and veggies all the time there is oatmeal and bananas and on occasion an obscene amount of popcorn (okay…on a lot of occasions). My goals are different right now and more focused on finding a balance, eating reasonably and moving each day.

Going forward, I am going to try to post something at least a few times each month. I have so much swirling around in my brain and never a shortage to write about. Until next time…

We watched A Lot of TV

Sawyer and I watched A LOT of TV on my maternity leave. I like to blame this on two things: 1.) Sawyer loves to be held ALL THE TIME. He will be sound asleep and the minute you set him down he wakes up. He is a little better now as he has had to adjust to daycare, but for those 9 weeks we sat in the rocker and binged shows and movies like I never have binged TV before. AND 2.) I have an unfortunate personality trait of forming good AND bad habits really easy. For the same reason I can workout 5-6 days a week is also why I have never smoked or taken any drugs and tend to avoid alcohol. My husband would agree, I am All or Nothing. There is no middle ground. These two facts combined led to watching some really great TV that I now miss. Below are some recommendations. Rest assured, this was not everything but only what I could easily remember. Also keep in mind, my Netflix binging ended Feb 24th so I realize there are a lot of new shows that I sadly am not watching.. 

Netflix Recommendations:

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – I flipping loved the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Let me tell you though, this is NOT the Sabrina you grew up watching. It is dark and fascinating and if you don’t like a touch of gore, this show probably isn’t for you. I, however, who typically avoids anything with blood really liked it.

Friends from College- This show made me question humanity at times, but I fell in love with the characters. Give it a chance…. season two is better than season one.

You- I almost gave up on this one on several occasions.  I also contemplated getting rid of my social media accounts and using my phone or computers all together.   It’s disturbing, but once you make it half way through the season, I guarantee you will want to finish it.

The Good Place- Jason and I have tried to get into this show so many times and just couldn’t. I finally just went for it and by the second season, I loved it. I loved it so much that I watched it all over again when I made Jason watch it. I still have lines from the show stuck in my head. “Pump up the Clam” and “A Little Bit Chowder Now”

Atypical- Probably my favorite show that I watched all maternity leave. I wish another season was available, like now. I can honestly say that I miss the characters of this show and hope new episodes are available soon. It provides such a great insight into someone not only experiencing the challenges of high school but also the challenges that can arise when you are on the spectrum.

The Sinner- I think this show is also on cable, but cant remember what network. The storyline of the first season could have been so good, but then the writers would insert some weird ass unnecessary things that made you go “why?”.  I’m not sure season two is in our future.

The Umbrella Academy- I typically avoid comic book movies and shows, but this one was so good and probably my second favorite show from maternity leave. It is so much more than a superhero/villain storyline and the writers could really take the next season in so many directions.

The Russian Doll- Meh..

Amazon Prime Recommendations:

While I mostly binged my way through Netflix, I did jump over to Amazon Prime to invest hours of my day in the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I absolutely loved this show and became so fascinated with how well (I assume) they were able to capture the late 50’s/early 60’s as well as a unique storyline regarding a female stand-up comedian.

 

 

 

 

Room 323

I miss the hospital. It’s more of a longing actually to go back to the simple time and place where we first met our baby. I’ve had this same feeling with all three boys, and while I can’t say enough good things about our stay and the amazing care we received, it is much more than that. The hospital is where we met our boys. It’s where I labored and delivered three healthy babies. It’s where I experienced a feeling that is so hard to put into words, but it’s where I first felt instant love for three tiny humans. It’s where I showed how strong and brave I could be. Where I showed the immense pain I would go through to bring the greatest loves into my life. I feel like someone needs to create a word to describe these emotions because I know that I am not describing them well. The hospital is a place where I have met the three best gifts of my life for the very first time. The hospital is joy and newness and the world just kind of stops for a few days. There is nothing else but the hospital room….room 323 and in it Jason and our baby. It is where we got to know each other in the simplest of routines and safest of spaces.  I am immensely grateful for these experiences and wish I could relive them over and over again. So yeah, I really miss the hospital.

Progress over Perfection

I love January 1st and the first blank page of a new year. This year, I’ve got a lot going on and while I want to set challenging fitness goals and personal growth targets, I’m just not going to do that to myself. I have no idea how our new addition will change our patterns and routines and I’d rather not set out detailed plans for the year and add undue stress. Instead, I plan to set a mantra for the year to guide me through all of our changes and challenges. My 2019 mantra is Progress over Perfection. I can’t take credit for this as I heard it on one of the many podcasts that I listen too, but it is perfect for me and this transitional year. I will work towards moving forward (progressing) without beating myself up to find perfection. If you are finding yourself in a place where setting a resolution for the year sounds like too much to handle, try setting a mantra or even a single word to help define how you would like your year unfold. I wish everyone a Happy 2019 filled with happiness, challenges and growth. 2018 will be a hard year to top, but I am excited to see what this next year will bring.

Sawyer’s Birth Story

Written before we left the hospital on December 23, 2018. Disclaimer….only read if you want real labor and birthing details otherwise this post may not be for you.

As I write this, baby Sawyer is receiving some of his final tests before we head home from the hospital. This has been such an experience that I had to write it all out before too many sleepless days and nights passed and it all became a blur. Sawyer’s birth story started on December 21st the day before his scheduled induction. It was the boys’ last day of school and they both had Christmas parties, it was our last day of work for the year and Sawyer was scheduled to arrive the next day. It was an exciting day for everyone. After picking-up the boys from school, we got ready to head over to my mother and father-in laws for an early Christmas celebration. They are both teachers and spend their winter break beachside every year making us all very jealous.

We had a nice evening spent with family, but I had been having more consistent and intense contractions. I didn’t worry too much about timing them out as I was headed to the hospital in a few hours to start the induction process. After Christmas, we dropped the boys off at my parents’ house and we headed home to shower and get our bags together. I ate my final meal and then we sat down for a few minutes in our living room. We reflected on the peace and quiet of our house and that the next time we came back home, we would be a family of five. I will remember that peaceful moment for as long as I possibly can.

We left for the hospital and arrived shortly after midnight. It is very different arriving for an induction than a true spontaneous labor. Everything is much more calm and obviously controlled. We checked in, they made me take a wheelchair to my room and we started to get settled in. This would be the room that I wouldn’t leave for nearly 2 days. Around 3am, dressed in my wonderful hospital gown, we started the induction process and settled in to get some sleep. (spoiler alert….I got very little sleep, buy my mediation app on loop did help me relax).

Several hours later around 5am, I suddenly felt a gush of warm liquid and my water had broken. At this point, my contractions were very consistent and progressing in intensity. I tried to do without an epidural for as long as I possibly could but by 8:30am it was time. I had never had contraction pain with this level of intensity in my two previous pregnancies due to an earlier epidural, and three and a half hours of it was enough. By 9am, the anesthesiologist had arrived. They kicked Jason out so she could insert the epidural into my back and I was anxiously awaiting the sweet relief of eased pain. The anesthesiologist was great and the epidural procedure itself went well. My epidural on the other hand…did not go well. I started noticing that my pain was not improving but instead becoming more intense. My blood pressure dropped and baby’s heart rate had started dropping.  Jason was still in the waiting room and it was now 45 minutes later. By the time Jason was back in the room, I was on oxygen and barely coping with each of my contractions that were now very close together with little relief in between. My epidural did not work in the areas that I needed it the most and the pain was so terrible in a way that I can’t describe other than there were parts of it that I simply wanted to give-up but I didn’t know how.

My epidural did not provide relief from my contraction pain, but what it did do was progress my contractions and labor to the point that I was fully dilated within the hour and was ready to start pushing by the time Jason returned to the room. It all progressed so quickly that my doctor was not available yet.  She was still in a c-section in another room and was just finishing up.

I want to stop my story now to give credit to a few people who I am so grateful to have with me during my labor and delivery. First, I had the best flipping nurses. The nurse that was with me for my epidural and delivery did everything that she could possibly do to help me get some comfort. I wish I could go back and give her a big hug. Second, my badass doctor who was exactly who I wanted delivering my baby. Because of her, baby came out safely, she brought me a few much-needed laughs and she helped me avoid any tearing  which has made recovery so much easier! The other person that I owe everything to is Jason. Once he got back to the room, he was so confused what was happening because my labor went from calm to crazy in a matter of 45 minutes. I was in so much pain that all I could do was cry, squeeze his hand and scream. (Confession, I was that screaming woman in labor. It’s not an exaggeration. I could do nothing to bear the pain but clutch his hand and scream.) Jason did everything he could for me as well including stroking my hair which he knows helps me relax and try to encourage me as best as he could. I could not have done it without him.

At this time, I was ready to push and freaking out. A squad of nurses entered the room and jumped to action getting the room ready for delivery within 60 seconds. I can only compare it to a Nascar tire change with how quickly they mobilized. My doctor walked in and it was instantly time to push with no time to spare. The pushing without an epidural was the part that I was the most scared of. The thought of pushing a watermelon out of my vagina really sounded like it would be the worst of the pain, but as my fantastic nurse assured me, it would feel good to push the baby out after the contractions that I was experiencing. You know what, she was right. Pushing baby Sawyer out provided such a relief, and 3-4 solid pushes later and there he was. Sawyer Bailey Lamar born at 10:02am weighing in at 7lbs and 3 oz and 21 inches long with his cone head (20.5 inches long once his cone head went down to its normal size).

Sawyer was placed on my chest and I experienced what I imagine all mothers do at the time their new baby is delivered and placed on their chest. It is that instant moment of relief and joy. I wish I could find the perfect word to describe the emotion that you feel in that moment, but I guess it’s just spontaneous and instant love while feeling like a badass at the same time. The video below is the moment right after Sawyer’s birth. It may be my most vulnerable moment ever captured on video, but I am glad I have it to remember that moment in time which will be my very last birthing experience.

We feel so blessed that everything went so well. It was my quickest and “easiest” labor thus far from a recovery standpoint. We are all working to get settled in at home as a family of five. It’s amazing how one tiny 7 lb human can completely alter your entire world. Over the next several weeks when I have time between feeding and snuggling a baby, I will post about my recovery and some other topics that I want to remember. For now, I need to go cuddle a baby.

Week 39: The Longest Shortest Week

We have finally made it. I am writing this early (on Thursday) because by the time Sunday rolls around, Baby L will be here. Unlike his brothers, Baby L did not want to come out early which is fine and kind of reflective of his personality thus far. He has been my little companion just content going along for the ride and not causing too much trouble. It will be interesting to see how his real personality unfolds in the coming days and weeks.

Scheduling his arrival has been a weird experience for me filled with a lot of internal conflict. While I do not want him to arrive on Christmas eve or Christmas morning and take that away from the boys, I also don’t like the idea that I am playing God and picking when he will join us. I’ve really struggled with this because I don’t want to tell him that I went into labor with him because I decided that the 22nd worked for my schedule. It make me feel so selfish.

As much as I can, I think I have come to terms with his induction, especially after how crappy I have been feeling. It’s been a week filled with timing contractions only for them to completely stop, utter discomfort, maybe my water broke but no I actually just peed a little, and sleepless nights getting up to pee every 40 minutes (which I do realize the sleep wont improve with his arrival, but at least I will sleep more comfortably when I do get to sleep). I have been completely crabby to my family and I am just ready to start this new chapter.

Now that I know he is coming in a few days I am filled with fear. I don’t think I am alone with this struggle of not wanting to be pregnant anymore but also not wanting to go through the experience of child-birth. Child-birth scares the crap out of me. I usually have at least one breakdown in the hospital where I refuse to acknowledge that he will come out and decide I would rather go home. I mean full on breakdown with tears. Once I get past this, I am fine but it is consuming me as I get closer to Saturday.

The next time I post, Baby L will be here (and finally) have a “real” name.  (Side note, those close to me likely already know his first name as I’ve mentioned it several times over the years when discussing the possibility of a third child.)

Wish us well these next few days….we will need it, and Happy Holidays from this soon to be family of five.

Week 38: I’m Still Pregnant

I really don’t have much to update this week other than I am ready to have this flipping kid! I have been having contractions like crazy (albeit mostly just Braxton Hicks) and he is sitting pretty low these last few days. This baby needs to be born this next week preferably Monday or Tuesday….the 18th really sounds like a great day for him to join our party.

As we get ready for delivery day, I just want to share a fun little game I’ve created call “What Will Jason Eat In the Delivery Room This Time”. Everyone is welcome to play! When I was laboring in the hospital with Chase, Jason decided to order himself a BLT as I was barfing in the hospital bed next to him.  In case you were wondering, bacon doesn’t smell so great when laboring. When I was laboring with Shane, Jason ordered himself chicken wings (see picture below). In his defense I did suggest that he get something to eat this time. I am thinking this go around it will be something Mexican or seafood OR a combination of the two! I have this to look forward too. All suggestions for Jason and guesses are welcome.

I am hoping that this is my last pre-baby post. Fingers crossed that this is it! Don’t mind me while I go eat spicy food, workout, drink raspberry tea and do other activities not appropriate to write about in order to get this baby to make his arrival!

Highlights from Week 38:

  •  I stayed pregnant another week…
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Jason enjoying wings as I am laboring with Shane.

Week 37: And Now We Wait

I am fairly settled into the idea that Baby L is just going to hang out in here indefinitely.  I know that he is due to arrive later this month, but he seems pretty cozy and content right where he is, and aside from killing my bladder, my workouts and my sleep he is a pretty decent roommate.

This week I had another ultrasound to make sure Baby L was continuing to grow as he has been trending small. At my 32 week ultrasound, he was under 4 lbs. At this week’s ultrasound, he was just under 6 lbs. While he is still pretty small, he did put on 2 lbs in 4 weeks and his weight is trending nicely. The ultrasound tech pointed out that while he may be small he was still chunky as evidenced by some of the pictures she was able to capture.

It’s really just a waiting game now. I am trying not to focus on it too much because the more I think about it, the longer the days and weeks feel. It’s up to him now. We are all technically prepared in that we have everything ready for him. I don’t know if you can ever really be fully prepared to bring a new baby home, but we are as ready as we can get.

Highlights from Week 37:

  • Baby L is the size of a winter melon (?? not sure what this is)
  • If Baby L was born this week, he could be Shane early. Shane was born 3 weeks early and Chase was born 2 weeks early
  • I was able to attend Shane’s Christmas program this week and was so thankful that I could be there to see it
  •  I am planning to join Chase for his scout hike this Sunday. It’s only two miles so shouldn’t be a big deal, but I do have a friend also going who is prepared to deliver Baby L on the trails 🙂

 

 

 

My Greatest Fitness Challenge: Pregnancy

Three years ago I realized that I needed to find something of my own that was just for me and no one else. By setting one goal to run a 5k each month during the year (2016), this goal became the catalyst to a completely different lifestyle that became sustainable and necessary for both my physical and mental well-being. My health and fitness became my gift back to myself. My fitness journey has evolved as new challenges and obstacles presented themselves, and this new approach to my health has greatly impacted my latest challenge of being pregnant.

As I near the end of this pregnancy, I wanted to take some time to write down my tips and thoughts before I forget them all in a cloud of sleep deprived newborn baby brain. I have been blessed with the experience of three pregnancies that are on target to produce three healthy babies. My current healthy pregnancy, my second what I will call normal pregnancy and my first pregnancy which was not that healthy.  With this first pregnancy, I had fluid issues, I gained way too much weight (like 50-60 lbs!) and I was ultimately put on bed rest for the last few weeks. Having this spectrum of experiences, I can say that this fit pregnancy has been the absolute easiest pregnancy. I am now 37 weeks along and while I am ready to be done, it’s not because it has been overly difficult. I am just ready to have my body back and regain the tiniest bit of normalcy (ie to take normal cold medication when needed or SLEEP ON MY STOMACH!!!). I’m not asking for a lot.

Before I jump in any further please keep in mind that 1.) I am not an expert or a doctor. I only speak from my experiences. 2.) What I write about is my experience and I do not intend to imply that because you may have had complications with your pregnancy that you are to blame. We are all just doing our best, but many things are outside of our control.

Throughout this pregnancy I have been able to workout with the same frequency and in most cases the same intensity as I was before I became pregnant. My tips below are what has allowed me to keep at it and feel good along the way. As far as frequency, it was until just last week at 36 weeks that I went from a 6 day workout schedule down to a 5 day workout schedule. I still move on days 6 and 7 but mostly by walking. My rest days are restful, but not sedentary.

As far as intensity, I have been fortunate enough to keep doing nearly everything that I was doing before becoming pregnant until recently.  Boxing was the only activity that I gave up pretty early. Around week 24 I stopped as it was becoming too difficult on my core. If you think about throwing punches from a fighter’s stance,  a lot of that power comes from your core and that combined with the lack of balance I needed to effectively kick I knew it would have to be tabled until after Baby. Also around this time I had to start modifying certain activities like taking a full push-up down to my knees. I learned to make adjustments rather than giving up on any exercise. You can modify nearly anything. At 36 weeks, I stopped running. Quite honestly, I could have kept going but I craved the break. I have a hard time stopping things when I know that I can technically do them no matter how difficult. Everything else has remained pretty much the same and I am thankful for it. Below I have highlighted what has worked for me an led me to 37 weeks of an active healthy pregnancy.

  • If you aren’t currently pregnant or active, but want a fit pregnancy: Start now! Give yourself 6 months to a year to get in the shape you want to be. It will be so much easier to sustain during a pregnancy if you already have a routine and habits in place.
  • Once you are pregnant, don’t stop or start any new type of exercise (unless you play dodgeball or do roller derby in which case both are awesome, but contact sports probably need to be modified). This was the only rule I was given by my doctor at my 8-week appointment. No dodgeball. It’s also why I didn’t start doing yoga even thought it sounded nice on some days.
  • Don’t buy maternity workout clothes! Wait to see what you will actually need once your belly is big enough to warrant new clothes otherwise you will likely be wasting money.  I always assume that I am going to have a super pregnant belly right away and what I find is that I can get away with wearing normal clothes for far longer than I expect. Because of seasons, I purchased two pairs of maternity leggings, but other than that all of my tops and shorts are regular non maternity work out clothes. Just find something with a little stretch.
  • Speaking of stretch…..do it and trust me. I have this terrible motto that I will stretch in the shower…otherwise meaning that I don’t want to “waste” my workout time stretching. As I got further into my pregnancy, I realized just how necessary it was. Stretching was recommended by someone whose opinion I greatly value and she was right. The further along you get, the more you need to stretch. I have really tight hips and the more pregnant I became the more trouble my hips would give me as I was trying to go to sleep each night. Stretching before my workouts really helped alleviate this discomfort especially on running days.
  • Speaking of the person noted above, find inspiration. It really helped me to have pregnant friends who were also active to provide motivation. These friends were further along than I was and it was so helpful to see what they were able to continually do while weeks/months ahead of me.
  • Establish a positive frame of mind about your pregnancy. I have always viewed my pregnancy as a challenge to push me and not something that would completely debilitate me and give me excuses. I still wanted to do the things that I enjoyed so I was determined to find a way even while pregnant.
  • You know yourself better than anyone else. If something doesn’t feel right….stop. If you feel great…keep at it.  Expect judgement, but don’t let it get to you. People are ignorant and for whatever reason they think you want their opinions. 
  • Set small goals for yourself to keep motivated or do like I did and take things week by week. Each week that I was able to keep at it was a small success just for me!
  • Finally, be kind to yourself. I feel like I should look into a mirror when I write this one, but know that some days you may not feel like doing anything, and that is fine! You are growing another human and that is flipping hard work in itself!