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

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Hello October: Last Full Month Before Baby!

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Hello there! Happy Friday! This was our first 5 day week since starting school and I am WIPED.

Tomorrow I hit 33 weeks, which seems oddly far along and also realized that now that it’s October, we’re having a baby next month. Whoa. Is it just me, or did this pregnancy fly by?! From what I’ve read, the baby is now almost at birth height, could weigh between 4-6 pounds, and will likely gain half a pound between now and birth! Which, of course, means that I’ll gain at least that much…

Now that I’m growing exponentially, I have had a visits from my old pal ED. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job keeping ED at bay, but once in awhile he stops by for a good ol’ pity party. Thoughts like, “I will never get back to my pre-pregnancy body?” or “I’ll never have time to workout.” or “I’m freaking huge” do pop into my head, and I’ve worked really hard to fight back. At the end of the day (or pregnancy), none of those things really matter. My priorities have shifted and really my main concern is being a good mom. Being a fit mom doesn’t mean I’m doing a good job. Losing all my baby weight doesn’t make me better than anyone else. What matters is that I’m present and caring for the baby and for myself. Is it easy to see past this big belly and into the future of waist lines and visible toes? No. So when ED shows up uninvited, I put my hands on my big baby belly and feel my little one wiggling around. I’m pretty sure this will all be worth it.

Anyway, my energy seems to be coming back in waves and I’ve been trying to take advantage of any awake time I’ve had. This week, Gloria and I went for a long walk, I hit the gym twice, and I plan to do an online prenatal yoga class this afternoon. I split my gym workouts into legs/back/chest, and arms/shoulders and think they went pretty well! If you’re feeling wild (or aren’t pregnant),  you could probably squeeze these into one big workout.

Prenatal Legs, Chest, Back Workout

  • Print

Complete each exercise for 3 rounds of 10-15 reps. Be sure to get a solid 30-90 seconds of rest between sets.

Warm up: 10 minute walk (3.5 mph 2.0 incline)

  • Leg Press
  • Kettlebell Straight Leg Deadlift
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Seated Chest Fly
  • Seated Chest press (machine)
  • Lat pull down (wide grip)
  • Reverse grip lat pull down

Cool Down: 10 minute walk (3.0 mph 2.0 incline)

Arms and Shoulders Workout

  • Print

Complete each exercise in the circuit for 10-12 reps before moving to the next exercise. Complete 3 rounds of each circuit.

Warm up: 10 minute walk (3.5 mph, 2.0 incline)

Circuit 1: Bicep Curls, Overhead tricep extension, Kettlebell upright row

Circuit 2: Cable hammer curl, Cable tricep pushdown, bent over reverse fly

Cool down: 10 minute walk (3.0 mph 2.0 incline)

Complete every workout with a gym selfie, obviously.

That’s pretty much it for me! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

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

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

Fit Bump: A Preggo Guide

Hi! Hope you’re all having a lovely week!

I wanted to start off by thanking everyone for your messages, posts and well wishes following my little announcement last week! Chris and I are so excited, and I am pumped to share this journey with all of you!

With that said, let’s talk about fitness and pregnancy. There is a TON of misinformation out there and I’d like to clear the air a little. Until pretty recently, the idea of exercise during pregnancy was seriously frowned upon. It was believed, by doctors and civilians alike, that working out could cause harm to the fetus and mother. Now, most of those scary myths have been broken including the following:

  • Never let your heart rate raise about 140 bpm
  • Lifting causes miscarriage
  • Abdominal exercises should be avoided at all costs

Here’s the truth. The 140 bpm myth is arbitrary and basically made up. Women that lift weights and stay active throughout pregnancy are more likely to have an easier labor, control weight gain more easily, and bounce back from pregnancy quicker. Abdominal exercises that include being flat on your back during the end of the second to third trimester should be avoided (as with anything flat on your back) due to strain on the vena cava, HOWEVER increasing core strength (including abdominal, back and pelvic floor) increase posture during and after pregnancy, and can make labor and pushing easier. (Source, Source)

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OK, so…now what? The general consensus is that whatever you were doing before becoming pregnant is safe to do once you are pregnant. That includes running, walking, weight training, swimming, pilates, yoga, crossfit, hula hooping, jump roping, and sitting on your butt (with permission from your doctor first, of course!). Pretty much anything that feels good is safe and that’s the big part to remember. It’s probably not a good time to start a new routine or increase the intensity of an old routine, though. For me, I had been doing a lot of HIIT with plyometrics. Now that I’m pregnant, my stamina is definitely decreased and a lot of interval training and explosive movements don’t feel good anymore. Right now, at 16 weeks, long, brisk walks, weight training and my TRX are feeling awesome.

That being said, here’s a great upper body TRX/dumbbell workout I did this week. The huge benefit of the TRX is that core stablization required to execute exercises correctly. For more TRX info, read this post.

Upper Body TRX Super Sets

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Complete super set 3x with 15/12/10 reps per exercise. Rest 1 minute between sets.

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That’s pretty much it for me! Hope you all have a fabulous week!

xoR

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, all posts are based on personal opinions and my own research. Please consult your own medical team before performing any exercises described here.