It's been three and a half weeks that I was in the picture above at 39 weeks pregnant and was ready to pop!! Now that I've had plenty of time to absorb this new life experience I figured it was time to tell my birth story.
For those of you who know me, you know that it was my intention to have a 100% natural birth in the hospital.
However looking back, as hard as it is for me to admit, I'm coming to grips with the fact that the way it ended up happening (in c-section) was perhaps the only way my baby was going to arrive here safely.
When I say I was ready to pop, I mean that literally. Sunday night on September 14th (the night before my birthday) around 11pm, Andrew and I were sitting on our bed reading and getting ready for bedtime. As I was browsing Facebook on my phone, I heard a "clicking" sound in my lower abdomen that I had never heard before and immediately it alarmed me. It sounded kind of like someone popping their fingers, and there were two clicks. I jumped up out of bed and told Andrew what I heard and I hurried to the bathroom. Surely enough, my water broke.
Being a first time mom I got so nervous as soon as I realized my water broke! It was a mixture of scared, excited, happy, thrilled and terrified! I called my mom right away and told her what was happening and I couldn't stop shaking out of nerves!
I went from scrambling around, pacing, to trying to sit and calm down. When I realized there was no pain and that I was going to be fine for a while, I started to send out my work emails to make sure everyone knew what was happening and that I was going to be out for the next little while. I also started re-organizing and adding to my hospital bags. I'm so glad Andrew was with me during this time. He was excited and he was helping me prep everything.
We took our time, and about an hour and a half later, we were out the door and heading to the hospital.
At first I was all smiles and laughs as you can see in the first picture above (top left).
We got settled into the hospital and were joking and having a good time. I had already been at 3.5cm dialated over the weekend which I thought was a great start. In the hospital they had to put me on an IV to administer anti-biotics and they informed me that baby had released meconium into his water (his first baby poop), which would require NICU specialists to intervene and clean out his lungs during the first moments of his life. They hooked me up to a baby monitor and a contractions monitor.
Soon they settled me into my own room where I came head-to-head with a rude nurse who took it upon herself to warn me right away that I would need pitocin and that I was on a time limit and if I didn't follow the labor curve timeline, I would certainly have a c-section. Needless to say, those were NOT the words I wanted to hear just a couple hours into being admitted at the hospital, and trying to have an all natural birth. She also seemed to have a chip on her shoulder everytime I asked her for help with moving around, since it's not very easy when you're tied up to a million gadgets!
At that point it was about 4am and contractions were happening but I couldn't feel anything, just mild period cramps but no pressure, or tightening on my belly and nothing to make me feel out of the ordinary. Soon my rude nurse was off her shift thank goodness!
A new nurse came to help me who ended up being one of my favorite people in this whole experience. I didn't catch her name but she was an angel woman. Young, petit, short blong hair and sharp as a tac. Without even having to be asked she helped me position my pillows, changed my bed pads and did everything to make me comfortable. She also reassured me I would be given plenty of time to dialate and that it was still way too early to worry. She also helped to get me in positions that caused my contractions to intensify, and oh boy did they ever!
After a few hours I dialated to 5cm and was in the worst pain of my life.
One aspect of this journey I would have changed was that I would have made sure to get a doula or a midwife to coach me through this pain. Going through that pain felt impossible without a coach. At one point my nurse gently told me "breathe" and the moment she spoke those words, it soothed my soul and I was able to breathe through that contraction. However she soon left and there I was alone, experiencing the pain all by myself while my husband and aunt who was there with me, sat and watched.
When I realized I didn't have the strength do this alone, I caved in and asked for the epidural. My sweet nurse who was supportive through each of my desires, ordered it right away. Soon my husband and nurse were holding me as I sat crunched over while this super cheerful Asian anesthesiologist administered the drug, and almost instantly I was in heaven. What a relief it was to have the epidural! I thank the Lord for the advances of modern medicine and how far we've come!
I was in labor for a total of 30 hours.
They put me on pitocin shortly after I had the epidural since I was dialating slowly. The day passed in bliss with my beloved nurse at my side and my pain killer.
However when the evening hit and I still wasn't dialating very quickly, things became tense and I began to feel the pressure of the doctor (who wasn't my original OB). She had a "talk" with me at about 8 cm that I may need a c-section. I stayed at 8 cm for about 5 hours. When I hit 9 cm I was so happy but my time was running out. I ended up staying at a 9.5 cm for another 5 hours, until my nurse informed me that my cervix was beginning to swell. :-(
By this time it was Tuesday morning around 1:30 am (remember my water broke Sunday night at 11pm). Since so much time had already passed and the nurse was doing everything she could to help me dialate and buy me more time from the doctor, I eventually was told that I would certainly need a c-section, since I was beginning to swell.
My mom snapped this photo above of me and my baby as they wheeled me out of the surgery room.
I cried. I cried so hard that I could hardly communicate with the doctor or nurse. Thank goodnesss my mom had taken the previous 24 hours to catch a flight from 1,000 miles away and come join me all the way out from Ohio (I'm in California). She was there with me for the last several hours and was there to support me through this transition. After laboring for this long, and making it all the way to a 9.5 cm dialation, you can imagine my disappointment in accepting the c-section.
After I conceded, it was decided that my mom would join me in the surgery room and my husband would wait outside where he felt comfortable. He is one of those types of people who faints at the sight of blood or gets weak when you even mention it, so there was no way I wanted to put him in the scare of being in that room, and he agreed.
The happy Asian anesthesiologist was on her 24 hour shift and she came back to grace me with her happy presence one more time. Man that lady was so cheerful. I really enjoyed her. She was like a fairy godmother spreading her sprinkles of miracle drugs around the hospital. She gave me the drugs for my c-section and it began.
The first drug made me shake uncontrollablly, so they gave me medicine for the shakes, which caused me to be drowsy beyond control. When my baby was born I heard his sweet little cries behind the curtain, and my heart filled with a sweet peace as I lay there in a dream state of drowsiness. Moments later he was brought right next to my face, and we looked at each other, both with one eye open (since I couldn't hardly keep my eyes open due to the drugs) and I kissed his soft cheek twice. The nurse was sweet enough to hold him by my face for a good while of time, which I appreciated.
I refect on that moment with such tenderness in my heart.
No matter how my baby got here, he got here safely and that's all that matters.
I found out shortly thereafter that they discovered the umbellical chord had been wrapped around his neck and that he was face up in the birth canal, both things which were not safe for a vaginal delivery. In the end I'm happy I chose to deliver him by c-section to know that it was what was best for him.
My gentle mother held my baby while she sat beside me as I lay there struggling to keep my eyes open. She comforted me and told me not to worry, just to close my eyes and rest. Her supportive words helped me to stop being anxious that I couldn't enjoy my baby's first moments the way I wanted to, and helped me to relax and rest knowing he was loved and safe in her arms and that the world was at peace, after such a long struggle. I could hear her sniffling tears of joy as she held him and I knew everything was going to be okay.
We named him Galax Gabriel Frick and he was born on September 16th at 5:14am, just one day after my birthday.
I was in labor all day on my birthday!
Haha what fun stuff. Can you tell in the photo above on the top right that he has my eyebrows? :D!
Andrew is such a loving father. He changed Galax's first 2 diapers and loves his baby boy so much!
After 3 days in the hospital, I decided I would forgo the fourth that I could have taken, and instead go home. Surprisingly, you don't get as much rest as you think being in the hospital. Between nurses coming to bother you and the baby every half hour, family visits, and taking care of a newborn baby, it was really hard for me to get any solid amount of rest. After 3 days of this, I yearned to take my baby home where I knew it would be peaceful, quiet and comfortable.
A week into being home, and Andrew gave Galax his first bath!
His daddy loves him so much and loves to participate in anything he can with his baby. It makes my heart full to see them together.
All in all, I am one happy mama with my new baby and my family. Recovering from a c-section at home has brought it's own challenges. For example getting in and out of bed was really hard at first and I couldn't bend over at all. Since they cut your lower abdomen it feels like you don't have any core muscles to support you. Laughing was impossible and sneezing was too. But since my family are all joksters, I found myself resisting the urge to laugh a lot! My feet also swelled up really badly for about a week.
I am not sure when I will start working out again. But not anytime soon. I am only walking now, and I have three more weeks of official "recovery" time by doctor's orders. I am going to take it one day at a time and always listen to my body first. I certainly don't want to cause any sort of permanent damage, and I want to focus on healing as my first priority.
Overall I'm working on adjusting to all of these new changes.
...my new post-baby body with a c-section, stretchmarks and sagginess, but with it's advantages in the boob department.
Other changes like caring for a newborn, breastfeeding, and this new lifestyle as a whole is challenging but rewarding.
Not that I'm planning on having a baby again anytime soon, but for the next one, I'm definitely going to try to get a midwife or doula and go all natural again if I can! It sounds crazy, even to me, but hey it's worth a try since it is on my bucket list. ;-).
Do you have a birth story? Feel free to leave a link in the comments.
At the end of this list I have a section of life goals I still want to accomplish. This list has reminded me of who I have been and of what experiences have shaped me. It gave me a sense of purpose. I will always be adding to this list as I come up with more things I want to accomplish, or adding to the list of things I remember from the past that I have already accomplished. It's like a bucket list except I don't like the name bucket list because that reminds you that you are going to die! The point of this list is to remember how great life is instead!
Amazing Things I’ve Done
List of Amazing Things I Want To Do:
WOW. I just looked at the date of the last blog post I published and it was exactly 1 YEAR AGO this month. July 22nd of last year 2013. It's now July 31st 2014 and I can hardly believe tomorrow is August.
I have to say, I feel like a very different person than I was 1 year ago. I look very different too.
For starters I'm currently 33 weeks pregnant with my first child. Most of my friends and family have already known for quite a while, but for some of you who have only known me for my blog might be surprised since I have gone MIA on social media and my blog for the past year. I'm due to have a baby BOY on September 18th and I couldn't be more excited and more happy with that reality. (What's cool is that my birthday falls on the 15th of September so I'm secretly wishing he comes a few days early and maybe we'll share a birthday :)
SO MANY people I know are pregnant!! It's really nuts. Bex from Bexlife is one week ahead of me or so, Ashley Horner just got pregnant, and one of the girls from PurelyTwins is two weeks behind me. And a bunch of other friends and aquaintences I know are pregnant.
I have to confess, for being a personal trainer and a yoga instructor, I have NOT been a good example AT ALL of a fit pregnancy. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I dropped all expectations of myself and I just surrendered to the process. Up until about week 20 I was really good about walking on a daily basis. I need to start that back up again. As far as eating goes, I've just eaten what's been available and I dropped all aspirations of meal planning etc. Life just got too busy and too complicated to worry myself sick about this meal planning hoopla. I'm more worried about health insurance than meal planning these days! But since I've got years of healthy eating habits behind me, some of those eating habits have carried over into my pregnancy since I've learned to love certain healthy foods. Nonetheless, I've probably eaten wayyy to much junk that is not justifiable in this pregnancy too.
Why did I stop blogging?
I very consciously decided to stop blogging 1 year ago for a few reasons.
#1. Unknown to many, I had a couple of miscarriages last year, one in May and the other was in October. After those two experiences I decided I no longer wanted to share my personal life with the world. On top of that, life was getting hard from a financial standpoint and to be frank I didn't have the desire to share those struggles with anyone, nor did I want to go on blogging as if life was normal, when it wasn't. I was dealing with a lot of changes and I needed privacy.
#2. I also decided that I didn't want to be apart of a selfie-obsessed culture that I was taking part in. I decided I needed to focus on my family, and what's most important-- and to me I realized that real life people are important, and real life experiences are important.
I think taking a 1 year break from blogging and the internet, helped open up another side of me. In the past year there have been so many things that have transformed me. Pregnancy was a huge one. Financial hardship has been another. I'm not sure how to describe how I've changed except to say that I feel stronger inside. I feel like there is more depth to my soul than before, somehow. It's weird to think about it that way, but true.
There are some other new changes too... I've gained WEIGHT! haha which is normal with pregnancy of course. I started this pregnancy weighing about 126lbs, and I now weight 161lbs! What a transformation that is in itself! I definitely don't fit into anything I used to be able to and I can see the cellulite in my thighs now that was never there before.
I'm also starting to get little stretch marks on the bottom of my belly. They are actually quite tolerable right now the way they are because they are small, and there's not very many yet. But considering that my baby has to grow double in weight over the next 7 weeks means I might be consumed in stretch marks by the time this is over! Oy vey.
So what's next?
Well as soon as I'm done having this baby, I will be on a mission to get my body back of course! Did you expect anything else from a person like me?;-)There's no way I'm letting myself go, not for one second. I am not the kind of person that is happy being overweight. Don't get me wrong, I am totally happy being pregnant but that's because I have a good reason for putting on weight and a little bouncy baby in my belly. After the baby is born though, there's no excuses, and I can't wait to feel that sweat running down my face again after a hard workout. That is one thing I miss terribly right now. I miss working out hard and getting that exercise HIGH from it. It makes you feel inconquerable, fearless and powerful. Can't WAIT to get back on that drug... ;D
I think I want to start sharing my journey again. I've learned now to accept myself in all of life's trials and circumstances and I want to share my journey because I've appreciated how much other women I know have shared theirs. It strengthens me to read their blogs and their lives. I hope maybe my journey will resonate with you too.
HAPPY MONDAY!! I'm wayyy to excited to present to you this interview with one of my absolute favorite fitness role models on Instagram - Miche Nicholson (@Micheskiiii on Instagram)!!
This woman is INCREDIBLE. With 3 kids, work, school, and a spouse-- if she can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!! She's had twins and what's amazing is that after her pregnancies and many "stomachs" later, she has come out a winner and a completely HOT mama!! Check out this interview!
I have a ★BIG Announcement!!★ MY OWN workout series IS HERE!!! WHUT?
I teamed up with Dream Body Workouts to create my very first 4-part online workout videos! Wooo! I never thought a day would come!
My workout series includes 2 yoga workouts, and 2 strength training videos. One yoga routine is a fast flow Vinyasa, and the other is my favorite meditative routine that will help cure headaches & after work tension.
The strength videos are total body routines that will help strengthen your muscles and get you in shape! I use a set of dumbells and a kettle bell.
The 4-part series is only $19.99, and to celebrate I'm giving away TWO $25 Target gift cards! LIKE and SHARE this Facebook post to enter to win! Here's the link to my new workouts! Go check it out and tell me whatcha think!! --> http://bit.ly/15hoHJj
A lot of you out there are looking for meal plans and wondering what you should eat. If you want to lose weight only ONE rule applies - you must burn more calories than you consume. Outside of that rule, all you have to do then is figure out what you like to eat, what healthy foods you want to incorporate and then count the calories up to make sure you eat the right amounts to stay within a calorie deficit. Use this calorie calculator to see how many calories you need to maintain weight, then subtract however many calories you feel is reasonable for you to lose weight. I would suggest subtracting 300-500 calories.
This week I'm going to put myself into a calorie deficit of about 500 calories. I've decided to keep my menu around 1400 calories per day, and I'm including foods that I ENJOY. Eating what you enjoy is a a huge key to long-term success. Here's my menu for this coming week for you all to see!
I will be eating the same thing every day of the week.
Breakfast: 445 calories
1/2 cup of oats 150 cals
1 cup skim milk 90 cals
1 tbsp peanut butter 95 cals
1 scoop chocolate whey protein 110 cals
Mid-morning snack: 120 calories
1 tub of broccoli 50 cals
10 almonds 70 cals
Lunch: 307-350 calories (depends on the cheese)
spinach 20 cals
olive oil 120 cals
balsamic vinegar 17 cals
1 cucumber 10 cals
1 roma tomato 20 cals
gorgonzola cheese or parmesean 20+ cals
2 slices of deli meat 100 cals
Afternoon snack: 130 calories
1 greek yogurt of choice 130 cals
After work relaxing treat: 100 calories
1 healthy choice frozen yogurt dessert 100 cals
Dinner: 200 calories
2 eggs 160 cals
spinach 20 cals
parmesean cheese 20 cals
Nighttime snack: 45 calories
1/4 cup cottage cheese 45 cals
Total: 1390 calories
As you can see I'm a huge fan of dairy, but not a big fan of meat. I'll be going to the grocery store tonight to finish getting the rest of the ingredients I'll need!
If you would me to create a personalized meal plan for your goals, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I charge $19 for a 1 week custom meal plan.