Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bikini Body Mommy and Diastasis Recti

I did not exercise while I was pregnant at all out of fear. I am usually a runner and from someone who had two miscarriages previously, I would have been content with lying with my legs in the air for nine months if someone would have let me do it; I wasn't moving any extra than I needed to. I know that exercising is safe and this was an irrational fear, but I wasn't taking the chance.

When I was pregnant with Nolan and Judah, I gained almost 65 pounds.  This is very much within normal, healthy, range for twins.  You can imagine what that extra weight plus having two babies in my uterus did to my body.  Towards the end of my pregnancy, I could barely walk around my house or to the mailbox or up and down stairs without being winded, tired, and incredibly sore.  My ankles, knees, and thighs were literally giving out from the extra weight in my abdomen area.

After the boys were born, I had to reteach myself how to move and exercise.  The pregnancy combined with my C-Section made the recovery much longer than I had thought. 

By the fall, I was running again (when I decided to take the time to do it), but this winter had posed a lot of trouble with that.  It's not easy to run in this much snow and it surely isn't easy to make yourself run outside when it's 30 below.  Needless to say, I haven't ran much :)

When my mom was over the other day, she was telling me about other nurses she works with doing this Bikini Mommy 90 Challenge.  These workouts were free on Youtube, fairly short (20 minutes), and led by a mommy trying to re-lose baby weight she had gained.  This sounded intriguing to me so I looked into it further. 

When looking this Bikini Body Mommy up, I learned that this woman, 31 years old, had three kids.  In between her second and third kid, she lost 100 pounds.  She's wrote a book, made a meal plan, and swears by the exercises she did.  Then, she got pregnant a fourth time.  She ended up having a miscarriage 13 weeks in after she had already put on almost 30 pounds.  After reading her blog about the experience and crying my eyes out, I instantly bonded with her and wanted to be a part of her transformation back to bikini ready.  If she had already helped herself look and feel great, maybe she could do the same for me! 

So here I am, 8 days into the 90 day challenge.  Her workouts are great, use little or no equipment, and are between 15 and 25 minutes, which is SOOOOO perfect for me.  Thinking about making time for a 60 or 90 minute workout like Josh has done with P-90X sounds like I would be setting myself up for failure.  I am also enjoying having a real person, who isn't super skinny and ripped, do the workouts right with  me.  She gets winded, she has to modify, she stumbles.  It feels real and authentic.  Also, her workouts are no joke; I cried during the fitness test on day 1 because I was shocked at how much I couldn't do.  No matter if you're a mommy or not, I would highly recommend doing this 90 day challenge.  Josh has done some of the workouts with me and can vouch that they are tough and good. 

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.  While listening to her talk about how to modify certain exercises depending on what your body is like after pregnancy, she mentioned something called diastasis recti.  She talked about how many women have this and don't even know it and how they shouldn't be doing some of the plank exercises she was doing.  I made a mental note to look that up.  Afterall, I surely didn't want to be doing something that would harm my body. 

I found out that diastasis recti is also known as abdominal separation.  It happens in about 30% of pregnancies and especially happens to women carrying more than 1 child.  Basically your abdomen muscles meet in a small wedge in the middle by your belly button.  During pregnancy, when your body is crazy different, those muscles can separate farther causing a bigger ridge in the middle of your stomach area.  I knew immediately I had this.  If you are a member of my family, you have been grossed out by how many fingers you can stick far far down into the middle of my belly.  You may have also been shocked to see how the skin on my stomach actually caves in to form a distinguishable line when I try to do a crunch. 

Now I know what can harm this farther and what I can do to heal that area. 

This 90 day challenge plus my diastasis recti healing exercises combined with better eating should put me into great shape for spring and summer and just in time for Nolan and Judah's first birthday.  Stay tuned :)

Link to Bikini Body Mommy  http://bikinibodymommy.com/
Link to Information on diastasis recti, how to test for it, and how to treat it: http://fit2b.us/how-to-check-for-diastasis-hd/

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Nine Month: Reflections

I know I say this all the time, but again, it seemed like so much has changed this month!   

Things we Learned About Nolan Gerard:
This month, Nolan is EV.ERY.WHERE.  He opens up any/every drawer, jiggles every knob he can reach, and is constantly on an expedition.  It seems like every time he starts moving, it is an adventure... he is truly my little explorer.  Trying to see the world through his eyes has been amazing.  He is constantly in awe and I am enjoying being in awe of him.   

Nolan learned to pull himself up, stand up in his crib, move while standing from one spot (like our coffee table) to another (like the couch).  He also has been babbling a LOT like saying "ga ga ga."  His fine motor skills have also been improving.  In mid January, when we first gave him and Judah puffs to eat, he could barely figure out how to begin to pick one up.  Now he goes after Cheerios and puffs using his thumb and pointer finger and is able to put them in his mouth like a champ! 

He is perceptive, being able to show concern if I am ever sad.  He is easily distractible and will stop nursing at the slightest sound of a familiar voice, the back door opening signaling someone arriving, or even the bell from Primrose's collar when she walks by.

Finally, I am thankful to report that Nolan is cautious.  I wouldn't go as far to say he is very careful because he always wants to try new things immediately whether he is ready for it or not, but he does use caution.  He hesitates before trying to get down while standing, he will put his hand out to test out the waters before moving from one place to another when he's standing, and he constantly seeks Josh or my approval when he is exploring.  It's like he wants to say, "is this okay?" or "can I go here?"  or "do you think I can reach this?"  He wants a nod or an "it's okay" from us.  He doesn't always listen, but he always wants to know if we feel it is safe to continue. 


                                                                                                             
Things we Learned About Judah Matthew:
Judah is our silent assassin.  This talented boy could not crawl any quieter.  Just today, he was playing in the living room with toys, he started to crawl in the kitchen, and seconds later he had done a full lap and popped back into the living room from the other entrance.  Josh asked me where he was the other day while doing dishes only to find that Judah had crawled over and sat right at his feet.  He crawls like one would crawl on ice; it's like he glides and slides while crawling. 

Judah's favorite thing to do is crawl for a bit and then sit and take it all in: all the sights, all the sounds.  Then he will proceed to crawl again and repeat.  Sometimes I will go and sit with him just to try and see what he's seeing.  He is someone that will sit and stare at his own wrist just to learn about it.  He is definitely inquisitive and thoughtful.    

When we first introduced puffs and Cheerios, Judah was much more natural at the small fine motor skills stuff than Nolan.  He is into precise small details and just like with everything else, he wants to conquer a new skill perfectly.  He will wait patiently, he does not dive in like Nolan.  He wants to do it right from the very beginning.

Judah has not been napping as long as Nolan, which gives him and me or him and Josh or him and my dad some bonding time.  I think that's nice for Judah because Nolan can be more "needy."  I am glad to give Judah a little one-on-one time. 

Judah continues to LOVE people and kids.  A child can make him laugh louder and longer than anyone else.  While watching the Super Bowl, Josh, me and any other adult is chop liver compared to Corey's three kids: Conner, Madilyn, and Emma.  He could've played with all of them for hours!  When Judah is happy, his whole face lights up: his eyes sparkle and his nose crinkles.   
     

Some Firsts:
  • Sometime early during this month~ Nolan crawled with real form for the first time.  He does not off and on, especially if where he wants to go is close or if he doesn't have many clothes on and doesn't want to army crawl cause it will not feel good on his tummy. 
  • 1-13-14~ Nolan really began his babbling, saying things like, "dadadadada"
  • 1-15-14~ Tried Puffs for the first time.... we gave them Cheerios too about a week later
  • 1-19-14~ Nolan pulled himself up to standing for the first time!  He did that on the white entertainment center in the basement
  • 1-25-14~ Judah peed on me.  That's right, I almost made it nine months without being peed on! I'd say that's called success. 
  • 1-30-14~ Judah pulled himself up to standing for the first time!  He did that on the black coffee table in our living room.
  • 2-6-14~ Nolan moved himself, while standing, from one place to another.  He went from the coffee table in the living room to the red couch in the living room.  
Twin Moments:
  • 1-14-14~ Nolan dropped a Baby Einstein toy on his head and started to cry.  Judah crawled over and put his hand on Nolan's head to offer support.
  • 1-14-14~ Judah tried to wake Nolan up from his nap by making noise on the edge of the crib. 
  • Nolan and Judah love to crawl toward each other's crib and have been "talking" to each other a lot when they first wake up.
  • Nolan dropped a picture frame and it landed on Judah's face.  He got a cut near his eye :(
  • A few times a day, they will actually crawl together in the same direction.  Usually, Judah is following Nolan around. 
  • I, then Nolan, then Judah, and then me again got sick this month.  This was no fun.  There was snot ALL over everything and everyone in our house. 

Reflections About Being a Mom:
My life has not been the same the second Nolan started to crawl and now that both Judah and Nolan are master crawlers and are both pulling themselves up on things, I am on constant high alert.  Regular tasks, like cooking dinner, take me forever because I am having to chase after Nolan, then chase after Judah, then help Nolan get down when he pulls himself up on an unsafe option like a drawer, then I'm fishing something out of Judah's mouth that's dropped on the floor, then I'm chasing Nolan again, then I'm comforting Judah after he's falling hard on his bottom from standing on something, and then I'm and then I'm and then I'm :)  Don't get me wrong, I love LOVE how smart and interactive and inquisitive and present and engaged my boys are at this stage, but I am certainly having to do things differently. 

The more I can quarantine them to a certain area and put barricades up to keep them sequestered, the better ;) 

I have kissed showering while the boys are awake goodbye.  My last shower that way was a few weeks ago... I knew Josh would be home soon in case he was needed.  I blocked the pipe by the toilet that they love to turn, I brought in some favorite toys, I checked the floor for anything that could be put into their mouths, and I shut the doors keeping them in the bathroom with me.  Not even five minutes after I was in there did I see Nolan, who had pulled himself up on the bathtub for the first time.  Not exactly the softest cushiest area to be standing when you hardly know how.  I turned off the water and that was it. 

I am constantly in a love/hate relationship with time. 
I am beyond grateful for all the milestones my boys keep reaching and how big and strong and smart they are.  Every new stage bring so much joy with it.
BUT...
I hate how fast this time is going!!!  Nolan and Judah were JUST born... am I right?! Come on!  It feels like just yesterday we were lucky if their eyes stayed open for any length of time and now we're preparing ourselves for boys who walk.  All these things like standing up bring more worries, more caution, and more reason for me to be crazy.  

Josh has to correct me all the time about this time love/hate thing.  When Nolan pulled himself up for the first time I said, "Nooo! You're too little!"  When my mom talked to me about feeding them table food, I said, "You're insane!  They're not ready for that!"  When thinking about sippy cups or when they open up drawers, I protest, "Stop growing!!"  I don't mean any of these statements, which Josh reminds me....often, but I just feel like I really get the image of one stage in my head and then it's over and another comes.  I don't want to miss anything, forget anything, or let any moment pass me by with Nolan and Judah but they sure move at lightning speed.