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 growthย 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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HIIT and Pancakes: A Weekend in the Life

Hi everyone! Hope everyone had a fab weekend! We had a super busy couple of days with two nights of Passover and Easter with our families. So fun, so full, feelin’ great!

With the eat-a-thon we experienced this weekend, I was looking for some quick, full-body sweat sesh’s to ward off that icky sloth feeling. No, these weren’t workouts to make excuses for eating, these were workouts to help me stay on track and feel my best! The following is an awesome Full-Body HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) that I did on Sundayย  morning before eating my body weight in stuffed shells:

Full Body HIIT

  • Time: approx. 40 minutes
  • Print

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This workout was modified from THIS Buzzfeed article. I also added a warm up and cool down from FitnessBlender.com, which are not only fun, but super important to avoid injury!

I also wanted to share my new favorite pancake recipe, modified from This Foodie Fiasco post. These bad boys are grain free, gluten free, low sugar, and SO FREAKING DELICIOUS I WANT TO EAT THEM ALL DAY!

Blueberry Coconut Pancakes

IMG_5552Ingredients:

  • 2T Coconut Flour
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Whites or 1/4C liquid egg whites
  • 1/4C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/3C Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add whisked eggs and almond milk to dry ingredients and mix until completely combined. Batter will be thick. Add blueberries and additional almond milk if necessary (I usually do!). Spoon 1/3C into pancake shapes on griddle, frying pan or pancake pan. Cook 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve with fruit, syrup, nuts, peanut butter…whatever you want!

Let me know how they turn out! Sometimes I sub the blueberries for banana and they’re also super yum!

Have a fab week!

xoR

Grain Free Lifestyle: the new me

Hello! Happy Monday to you ๐Ÿ™‚

I have made a bit of a diet change, and I want to share my thoughts with all of you. I’m going grain free. As someone in recovery from an eating disorder, cutting a whole food group can be problematic…as in, disordered. For example, before Chris and I got married, my trainer that suggested trying a Paleo/grain-free diet (Hi John!) . To me, that meant “NO MORE CARBS!” so I cut all resemblance of carbohydrates from my diet. No grains, no starch, no fruit. Just protein and veggies. I was miserable, weak and mean. I was very much NOT in recovery at that point in my life, so this lifestyle change did not go over well. However, at this point in my recovery, I am able to see that reducing one food group (not cutting entirely) can be beneficial for my overall well-being, and also means I can add more of another food group (like fat or protein).

Grain free diets are certainly controversial and there is a TON of misinformation going around out there. First of all, the word “grain” refers to wheat and wheat products. It does not refer to “gluten”, which is a protein, or “carbohydrate”, which is a macronutrient. Reducing grain, for me, means cutting down on bread, cereal, baked goods, etc. It does not mean reducing starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and corn. I am also not referring to this diet as “paleo” because I am still eating legumes and dairy.

That being said, you might be wondering why I’ve made this decision. Well…a couple of reasons.

1. I’m at a fitness stalemate. Abs are made in the kitchen, and while I’m not on a quest for the proverbial 6 pack, I am on a quest to increase strength, muscle tone and general feeling of goodness. A diet change can be pivotal to change physique.

2. I’m having some (ahem) skin issues. OK, I realize I’m probably have a standard “I’M ABOUT TO TURN 29 AND I HAVE ZITS and WRINKLES!” meltdown, but something needs to change. According to a few different sites, acne can be aggravated by inflammation, which apparently can result from consuming grains. Listen, I know it’s probably wacky science, but I’m really ready to do anything.

3. Grains may be inflammatory. Some studies show that consumption can increase inflammation in the body. Some say they don’t. There’s lots of back and forth, but I’ll tell you this: my belly feels better when I don’t eat a ton of grains. Maybe it’s placebo, but I’ll take it while it works.

SOOOO. Here I am. Grain free. I will say, another huge benefit of a diet change is that I’ve been cooking every day! I love cooking and had sort of lost all motivation. So, here’s a sampling of some new, grain free, delicious recipes I’ve made so far:

So that’s it for me! Check out my Food and Recipes page on Pinterest for more delish ideas!

xoR

Bye Bye Summer: the ups and downs

Hi! Happy Labor Day! It’s my last official day of summer vacation (#sadface), so I thought I’d give you a little wrap up and perspective as we ease into fall.

As as you might remember, summer was a little rocky for me. See here and here for more info about how summer impacted my recovery this year. It wasn’t all fun and games this season. I certainly had my share of ED dips, but coincidentally, I also feel the most recovered ever. I’ve learned so much about myself this year and have made a very clear and conscious decision to leave ED in the past. Sure, I had tough moments, but I also had a kickass time living my life! I did tons of traveling, eating, and drinking, plus I fit fitness into my life without compromise.

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No, I did not achieve everything on my bucket list, but it did push me outside of my routine! I ran a super muddy/foamy 5k. I went to new fitness classes like boot camp and spin,ย went to Miami with a bunch of hot chicks, Newport with the hubs, and lived through and earthquake in Napa. Plus I landed an awesome new job and we bought our dream house! So yeah, this summer rocked.

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All in all, a fab summer! We rounded out the summer by going to a UMass football game (our alma mater!), eating many brownies at a BBQ, and going to the beach for one last hurrah. Have a fab holiday!

Summer: why it’s awesome without ED.

Hello Hello! What an amazing weekend! I’m not even mad it’s Monday because the weekend was so fab.

I think Summertime (or the thought of summertime) can be a point of contention for many of us that do or have struggled with body image and disordered eating. Summer is a really strange combination of very little clothing and TONS of food and booze. Uh…that doesn’t sound like a perfect mix when you’re battling with your mind and body. So let’s talk about having it all. In the past, summer has been a bit of a dark cloud for me. If I were to graph my eating disorder over the course of the previous 10 years, there would be HUGE spikes beginning in June and going back down in September. Between barbeques, concerts, festivals, and al fresco dining, summer and food are pretty symbiotic. But the lack of structure (thanks to the truly fabulous life of an educator, or being a student) and transition from sweaters to tank top really made my life difficult when ED was hanging around. Now, I see why people love summer. A. It’s warm and summer clothes are SO cute. B. It’s warm and you can eat outside. C. It’s warm and people are generally happier when it’s sunny. D. It’s warm and you can go to the beach and get tan. E. It’s warm therefore nothing else matters. See a pattern? For me, it really started to click when I realized how much I was missing out on because my eating disorder would hold me back. I wouldn’t go to any festivals or events where food was the feature and I would shy away from bathing suit situations. It really seems silly when I think about. Summer is freaking awesome. Summertime food is really delicious. Bathing suits are great because you get to wear them to the beach. See? Try taking a different perspective. I’m always looking for the light in tough situations, and I am SOOOO excited for this summer where ED is on permanent vacay and I can max and relax with no strings attached.

So, that being said, this weekend KICKED ASS. We did so many fun summery things like going to a rain-soaked Red Sox game, buying supremely overpriced jeans and cooked out with so many of our favorite people! Here’s a quick round up:

Friday afternoon I repeated my run interval from earlier this week. I shaved 3 minutes off my time and feel pretty good about my progress! Friday night we went to Fenway for one of Chris’ work outtings. Of course it was super cold and rainy, but it was free!

That would be a gallon of white wine that I demanded at Fenway. Some decisions are better than others and I accept that.

Saturday I hung around with my parents and went for a long walk with my dad in the sunshine. My dad and I used to walk a lot together when i was younger, and he was my first gym buddy! It was nice have a chill day and get some mommy and daddy time in. Saturday night I hosted a Blue Jeans Bar Party on Newbury St and a couple of my friends came by to try on/purchase adorable jeans and drinks lots-o-chamagne. Our mid-west besties were visting so it was extra special and fun.

After dinner we had tapas and too much sangria and made some more bad choices around the city. The real focus of our weekend, aside soggy ball games and overpriced jeans, was our very first BBQ featuring our new grill and lawn games! ZOMG what a fun Sunday afternoon! Tons of friends showed up with food, booze, and games. It was a picture perfect weather day, and very successful, if I do say so myself! My friend Ben made a HILARIOUS joke that since I loved the day so much, I should probably blog about it…so funny… Jokes on you Ben, I’ve been planning this blog for weeks.

Donut Worry. Be Happy. Is my summer motto this year. Get on that train!

See? You can have it all! Life can be fit, healthy, and fun with NO guilt! There’s no reason to spend the summer in the gym or hiding your amazing body (remember all that great stuff it does for you?!). Be proud, have fun, make some poor decisions. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Donut worry. Be happy.

xoR