Introducing Nathan Felix! a birth story

Hello! I want to introduce the newest love of my life: Nathan Felix!

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He was born at November 20 measuring 6 lbs, 15 oz and 20 inches long! He is absolutely perfect! Here’s a moderately abridged version of his birth story:

On Wednesday, November 18, I had my 39 week checkup with my OB. Following my my 35 and 37 week ultrasounds, I had an additional ultrasound and appointment to measure the baby’s growth progress. The ultrasound took over an hour and the radiologist was clearly trying to find better measurements because baby kept measuring below 10th percentile (the cutoff for “normal”). They finally put him at 11th percentile for size and sent me to my OB. Then my blood pressure was elevated again and here’s what my doctor said to me (I’ll never forget): “You’re done being pregnant now, right?” She then explained that due to the baby’s size, my elevated fluid levels and high blood pressure, there was no point in staying pregnant past 40 weeks and we should probably start the induction process that night.

Uhhhhh WHAT?! My mom (thank goodness she was with me!) and I were in shock. The OB said that I should report to the hospital that night for some medicine to help progress my labor and then we’d make some decisions. So Chris came and met me, we dropped the dog off at grandparent camp and headed to Brigham and Women’s Hospital. They set up me up with the monitors and of course my blood pressure was normal again. The gave me meds, kept me on the monitor for a few hours, then sent us home for our last night in our home without a baby. The next day we went back, got more medicine and were sent out for a few hours. I announced that I would not be going home without a baby, so they let me come back. We walked out of the hospital and down toward Fenway Park to Target to buy slippers where I promptly went into labor…then we got dinner and called and Uber back to the hospital. The sent us back up to triage, set me back up on the monitor, and informed us that there were 3 emergency c-sections ahead of me and no beds in labor and delivery, so sit tight. Eventually I fell asleep on the gurney and Chris fell asleep sitting up in a chair with his head against a sharps container and my labor stopped completely (womp womp). At 3:30 am they finally sent us up to L&D and started Pitocin (synthetic oxytocin, which is the hormone that starts labor). I went right into heavy labor. My contractions were right on top of one another and I demanded an epidural (I was much nicer once the drugs settled in). The nurse asked me about my birth plan and I explained that literally NOTHING about what was happening was on my plan and now I wanted drugs (I had originally envisioned a totally natural birth, which was no longer in the cards for me). I got the epi around 7:30, they turned the pitocin off around 9 and I progressed on my own for several hours. Around noontime I started shaking really violently and was told that it was a normal part of labor since my contractions were really strong…but then I spiked a temperature of 102.8 and the baby’s heart rate was getting really high. The nurses and doctors said that they usually only treat fevers up to 100.4 before other medical intervention (like a c-section), so I got really scared, but the antibiotics and tylenol kicked in really quick and I was fully dilated and it was almost baby time. They explained that due to my fever and the baby’s elevated heart rate, s/he would have to go to the NICU right after birth and get meds. That was also really scary, because I certainly did not want to be separated from my brand new baby. Then all of a sudden it was time to push.

I was expecting this part to be like the movies: tons of doctors, nurses and interns, screaming, crying, etc etc etc. Instead, it was super calm. The only people in the room were our nurse, Chris, me and the doctor checking in from time to time. It was eerily quiet. No screaming, no music, no obnoxious words of encouragement (Thanks Chris!) and 2 hours later, the OB announced “one more long steady push” and then all of a sudden she held a baby up over me and said “JUST LIKE DADDY!” and there was Nathan at 3:31 pm! There he was! Chris and I couldn’t believe he was here, and he was a boy! He scored an 8/9 on his APGAR, we did some skin to skin and then they took up to the NICU.

We stayed in the hospital for 3 nights because they couldn’t really figure out what caused my infection, so we were both on IV antibiotics despite neither of us having a fever after birth. We finally went home on Monday morning where my parents and Gloria met us and we started our life as a real family!

Nathan and I are doing great so far! We had his 2 week pediatrician’s appointment yesterday and he’s up to 8 lbs, 7 oz. The doctor couldn’t even believe it, since most babies are working on getting back to birth weight at 2 weeks. I guess you could say he’s a good eater, since he eats every 2 hours, day and night! We’ve been walking outside every day and starting to go into public a little. He’s such a little doll and we’re just head over heels in love.

So that’s where we’re at right now! Motherhood is a crazy thing. All of a sudden my life changed completely and I went from being pregnant to being a mom. I’m already forgetting the trials and tribulations of being enormously pregnant (and I almost fit back into my jeans thanks to my piglet son). I’m not exactly eating great, but we’re doing the best we can. I love being a mom and now can’t picture my life any other way (sorry for the gross new mom rant) (I’m not really sorry)

xoR

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The Pregnancy Weight Gain Diaries

Hi everyone!!! I know I start every post with an apology for my absence, and this is no different! Things have been so crazy getting ready for baby! I am officially 5 days until my due date, although my OB didn’t really seem to think the baby was in any real hurry to come out…but Mommy is!

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c/o @kosogkaos

I wanted to share a little story with all of you that I hope will be helpful. At 35 weeks (about a month ago), I had an ultrasound just to make sure the baby was head down and everything was looking good. At that appointment, my doctor explained that they baby was measuring a little on the small side (which I was super surprised about) and they’d like to do a follow up in a few weeks. She didn’t seem real concerned, but any concern at all is scary for a first time mom like me! So 2 weeks later I went for a follow up and during the scan I found myself way over analyzing everything the ultrasound tech said (or didn’t say). She said the baby was small (panic) and my amniotic fluid was high (panic), and everything looked fine (PANIC she didn’t say perfect!). Overall, the doctors were happy with the baby’s growth, s/he is just on the smaller side and these estimates can be way off and I should stop panicking (yeah, right). Fast forward another week and I’m at my 38 week appointment. I’ve been very diligent about not finding not knowing my weight throughout my entire pregnancy. I get on the scale backwards every week and remind the medical assistant that I do not want to know the number. Well, I got on the scale backwards and figured since the assistant knew me by now, I didn’t need to remind her. Guess again. She put her hand on my belly to maneuver around me to see the display, then announced my weight. It felt like I had been kicked in the gut.

“Oh, no, I don’t want to know!” I cried as she announced

“Oh! Oops! Did I mess up?? Sorry!” She giggled.

I literally started to vibrate. Of course then she took my blood pressure and it was through the roof. She left me in the room to undress and I took many deep breaths to keep away tears. “Don’t panic, relax, it’s ok” I said aloud to the sterile room. “Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale”.

The doctor came in and said that since my blood pressure had been steadily rising for the past few weeks (news to me!), she was going to redo my blood pressure measure and then we’d decide if I needed testing for preeclampsia. I explained that hearing my weight may have triggered the spike and the follow up measure was more normal, albeit a bit elevated. She sent me for testing anyway, it came back normal.

I cried in my car, as I often do, and called on my support team (Chris, my mom, my best friends) to calm me down when breathing wasn’t doing the trick. “You look great!”,”The baby needs you to gain weight”, “You’re doing everything right”, “It’s all in your belly!”, everyone told me. I didn’t feel better.

The next day, of course I got online and started looking for tips and tricks for losing baby weight. That was a mistake, as is googling most pregnancy related topics. I kept finding bloggers explaining “OH EM GEE I was sooooo gross during my pregnancy. I ate Little Debbies and didn’t work out at all and I gained THIRTY pounds! EWWWW”. Which made me feel exactly 0% better for the following reasons: A. I have been eating really well. B. I’ve worked out and stayed active through my whole pregnancy and C. I’ve gained 40 pounds. That’s right. Forty. 4-0. And I have at least another week of pregnancy.

So I share this story with you for a few reasons. One reason is that, similar to when I was researching Gestational Diabetes (I really never learn), the internet is filled with scary stories and worst case scenarios. Also, every pregnancy is totally different. I stayed active, ate well and did everything I was “supposed” to do and gained more than the OB/GYN recommended 25-35 pounds. I know other women that gained more and others that gained less. And some that have gained none at all. All healthy pregnancies. Would I have preferred to never know this number? Yeah, sure. Do I feel more empowered now that I do know it and was able to come to peace with a number that doesn’t hold power over me any more? Yeah, definitely. I know I did everything right during this pregnancy, including the occasional ice cream and pizza. I could have restricted my intake and pushed my workouts to my limit throughout these past 9 months, but I’d be miserable…and no better off.

Just like my pre-pregnancy weight, this scale number is just another number. My pre-pregnancy weight was higher than I thought it should have been, but I was also my healthiest, fittest and happiest. A reminder of what that looks like:

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Had I not been happy, fit and healthy, I probably would not have been able to get pregnant. Yes, I do hope that I can get back to that body, but I’m also trying to give myself some space to be a new mom and not push myself too quickly. Right now I’m trying to refocus my thoughts and energy. There’s nothing I can do about the weight now, and probably not a lot I could’ve done to begin with. My body will be different after baby, and that’s OK. I will be different! Here’s what 39 weeks looks like around here:

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So that’s my pep talk (for myself and for all of you). Pretty soon these concerns will seem really silly. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Have a great week!

xoR

The Trials and Tribulations of Trimester Three

Hi Everyone!

I know Flex and Shout has been pretty quiet lately, so I wanted to just give everyone a little update. School started 2 weeks ago and it’s been pretty busy. I guess I knew starting the year at the beginning of my third trimester wouldn’t be a breeze, but I wasn’t really prepared for how it would actually feel.

I feel tired. Super duper tired. Like, “putting my shoes on takes too much effort” tired. My workouts have been reduced to some walking and some very basic weight training. I’ve been using the nautilus machines at the gym, which helps balance the weight and focuses the exercise on each body part. Plus, I’ve been experiencing terrible reflux and a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, especially when I work out, which have slowed me down even more. So overall…the third trimester hasn’t been my cutest.

In other news, my girlfriends threw me the loveliest little baby shower this past weekend! My friends came in from all over the country including Texas, New York, New Hampshire and Indiana! Talk about a loved baby and mama! It was a nice distraction from the heartburn and fatigue. IMG_9837

Another thing I’ve noticed in the third trimester is a serious amount of body growth. I went from “pretty pregnant” to “enormously pregnant” seemingly overnight. I even outgrew my shoes…which was cool… Oy!

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Remember that pic on the left? That was literally RIGHT before I found out I was pregnant and at the peak of my physical fitness. Well, things are certainly looking different these days, but I have to say I still feel pretty confident and strong, regardless of the negative symptoms I’ve been experiencing. It really is cool to see your body change and grow and know the baby is changing and growing inside! Sure, it would be nice to fit into my normal shoes and not struggle to bend my fingers when it’s humid…but I think it’ll be worth it (I’m pretty sure it will!).

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10 more weeks until we meet this little monster. Hope everyone’s having a fabulous week!

xoR

Hot Child, Summer in the…Suburbs

Hi! It’s been a minute since I last wrote! Hope you’re all doing fabulously! I’ve been super busy with preggo stuff…like sleeping and eating, so I really couldn’t be bothered…

Really it’s been a super quiet summer here, which is so nice. Pregnancy is treating me well, and as of right now I’m just eating, growing, sleeping, and trying to stay as active as possible. I have some new fun symptoms like a super itchy/hairy belly (akin to a Yeti), swelling feet (like little foot shaped balloons), and intermittent narcolepsy (like on Monday when I got dressed to work out, then woke up 2 and a half hours later on the couch). Otherwise, things are going well! Baby has been dancing up a storm and seems to enjoy mommy and daddy’s off key, obnoxious singing, giant cats sleeping and vibrating him or her, and soccer practice with mommy’s bladder!

Since coming home from California, my diet has really been different. I wrote about loosening up while on vacation, and I’ve really been able to keep up with it! Baby seems to want lots of sandwiches, ice cream, and sweet drinks (HELLO Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers). My workouts have been holding steady, but I’ve had to start modifying for my growing belly. For example: my belly nearly reaches the floor during pushups, so I need to use a bench or the wall. I’ve had to stop attending rowing classes because my knees hit my belly, which compress my lungs, which is really not good for anyone. Plus it’s been approximately a trillion degrees with a billion percent humidity every day, so walking outside is really not an option. There are plenty of other options!

Here’s a full body workout that I wrote yesterday! You’ll need a TRX or suspension system, a set of dumbbells and some sort of step (I used an actual stair, but you could use a chair, a bench, whatever). Make sure to rest as much as you need! My rest intervals used to be 30-60 seconds, but now I need a solid 60-90 seconds at minimum to recover after each set. Take your time and remember that form is REALLY important when you’re pregnant. Maintaining core strength and balance should are my current #1 priority while exercising and proper form ensures that!

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And just in case you’re wondering how I’m looking these days (I know you are):

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Here I am in all my fuzzy belly glory! Charlie seems to approve from above in his new cat perch. What a creep. That’s pretty much it for me for now! I hope you all have a fantastic week!

xoR

Crusin’ in Cali: roadtrip roundup

Hi Everyone!

We’re back from our California road trip and feeling awesome! Here’s a little recap of our amazing trip!

We started off in Hermosa Beach, which is in LA county. It was absolutely GORGEOUS there and I wouldn’t mind staying there for the rest of my life. We went to the beach, walked to nearby beaches and neighborhoods, ate phenomenal healthy food, and went to a stunning wedding!

After 3 nights, we went to get our rental car (just a casual BMW 428i Convertible…no biggie), and headed up through Malibu to Santa Barbara. It was a pretty ride along the coast and Santa Barbara is a cute town. We were only there for a night, so we didn’t do a ton of sight seeing, but certainly a nice place to stay!

Bright and early the next morning we hit the road on the Pacific Coast Highway and drove all the way up to Monterey. It  took about 9 hours total with several stops including the Elephant Seals in San Simeon, dolphins in Big Sur, lunch at Nepanthe, and a few stops along the PCH just to take in the scenery. I seriously recommend everyone take this ride once in their lifetime. It was so beautiful. I even drove on the really scary parts because I figured I’d be less likely to barf if I were behind the wheel (I was right!)

We stayed overnight in Monterey with a trip to the aquarium (which is fabulous) and dinner in Carmel (not Caramel, which was disappointing to this preggo).

Finally, we headed up to San Francisco for the day to hang with my cousin Eve, and my brother, Ben, who then took us up to Napa for our final 3 nights. This was a much less eventful trip than my last visit to Napa (you may remember the 6.1 earthquake last time), but still beautiful and less wine-soaked as I hit 21 weeks pregnant.

Overall, it was so nice to get away and refresh for summer. I am finally starting to feel confident with this new body, and even walked around Hermosa in just a sports bra and shorts, which I’ve never done before in my life! It was nice to eat healthy with a few  a lot of delicious treats (like the Chocolate Bomb I didn’t share at Morimoto, the loaf of bread and butter at Bouchon Bakery, and the endless number of macarons I ate at the wedding). We did a fair amount of walking, but we also did a fair amount of driving. My brother and I went to a yoga class in Napa. which was super nice, and we refueled with pizza. So really, I think this pregnancy is teaching me true balance. I am feeling really great at this point and enjoying where I am.

So now we’re back home, I have zero plans until September and I feel fantastic about sitting on the couch with Gloria, watching terrible TV, dragging my tush to the beach, and doing whatever I damn well please!

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

xoR

Katie K Active…why it should be your new favorite company!

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to show off my brand new Katie K apparel and let you all know that I LOVE this line! You might remember my review from last year, and the brand has made some fab improvements that I am so excited about!

First up are the Signature Urban Legging:

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They are flipping amazing. I have been waiting a little while to review these leggings to make sure they still fit my growing midsection. Well guess what, not only do they come up nice and high over my bump (which I prefer), but they stay put. No rolling, sliding, or gapping. They are super soft and have that famous hidden side pocket perfect for your phone!

Next, the Signature Open Back Burnout Tee:

Soft. Light. Open Back. Adorable. This is so lovely to wear while working out.

Finally, The Free Flow Cardigan:

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Excellent for wearing en route to a barre class, throwing over a tank for a walk, or a casual work day! The color is super pretty and the material is a nice weight, not too heavy, not too light!

Please excuse all the selfies, my photographer was at his real job 🙂

Katie K is such a cool company. They make clothes for every size, shape, and ability level. Their stuff is fashionable, functional and made for a real woman’s body. I 100% endorse this company, and while the clothes were given to me in exchange for this review, I truly love them! Also! If you use code “Rebecca15” you will receive 15% off your next order! Seriously consider Katie K next time you need some new workout duds!

Have a fab week! Chris and I are off to California later this week, so keep an eye out for our adventures on Instagram!

xoR

Summer of the Ever Expanding Belly: Day 1

Hi Everyone! I’m reporting live from my couch on Day 1 of summer vacation! I remember writing this post last year with a tinge of anxiety since I hadn’t found a job yet for the following fall and trying to embrace the joy of the unknown…now that feeling of unknown comes in the form of a little human growing inside me…talk about changes!

Over the course of the past few weeks, my emotions have been all over the place. I know we’ve talked a lot about body image, and I wanted to bring it up again for old times sake. Being pregnant is really wild. Somedays I feel great: strong, maternal, awesome. Somedays I feel terrible: sad, chubby, and terrified. Lately, the latter has been winning, which is a huge bummer for me. Dressing this new body is a daily challenge, and shopping isn’t as much fun as I want it to be. I find myself feeling like things look “just OK” as opposed to “OMG SO ADORABLE”. I’m self conscious about my giant bras and thighs that now rub together a little bit. I’m constantly pulling my tank tops down over my belly and up over my boobs…I’m uncomfortable in my own skin, which is an old and familiar feeling. People are also starting to make stupid comments about my size and my weight (WHICH ARE NEVER OK!).

That being said, I was reminded recently that the reason I am growing is because the baby is growing…and that’s a good thing. I was also reminded that what my body is doing is incredible and seemingly magical, not just getting larger. Then I remembered all the adorable little things I get to buy now, and that it’s not about just me anymore. People are also starting to smile at me on the street. I’m telling you, pregnancy is really wild.

Last week we had an ultrasound, which would have been when we found out the gender, but we are opting for a surprise baby! So far we know that it’s either a boy or a girl, very healthy, extremely active, and particularly uncooperative during ultrasounds, which I guess should not come as a surprise to anybody.

So: Here is an awesome article that you pregnant naysayers should read! 

Here is an amazing lower body workout from Muscle and Strength

Here is my new favorite Boston area fitness studio

And here is a belly selfie (’cause…why not):

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That’s it from me! Have a fab day!

xoR