Thursday, February 20, 2014

Where I fall off track and pretty much suck - Part 6 of That Tummy Topic

This post should be dated February 20, 2014.   That's when it was written, but I really thought I was going to come and polish it up....complete it, add more.... I didn't,  so here it is.   I actually haven't blogged because I knew I needed to come and finish this post before posting more...haha.  How's that for champion procrastination!
So, here it is...  The post that hasn't changed since I first typed it, but took two and a half months to publish.

So, pretty much like everything in my life, I'm an awesome starter.   I'm also a terrible finisher.   I'm all in, but then fizzle out quickly.    This course was different.  It was so easy to do the things I needed to do,  and as I found out, even I couldn't totally mess it up, but I still did a pretty good job trying.   

Honestly, I had trouble in the first two weeks getting all those checks where they were supposed to be, but then the third week came, and the third week I felt like it all came together and it rocked.   I could do my holds standing up while cooking at the stove, or while brushing my teeth or whatever.  Honestly, I'd already been doing that because I really couldn't find enough times a day to sit in a chair for even 30 seconds and do them properly in the first two weeks.   I didn't know what was coming in week 3, and I was already feeling like a bit of a failure, so when I watched those videos and heard the new weeks plan I was so happy!

I know that sounds crazy, that I couldn't find 30 seconds to sit down.   I could find 30 seconds to sit down, I sit down all the time,  but I couldn't find 30 seconds to sit down without someone trying to climb on me, or some other disturbance.   Basically, with three kids aged 3, 1 and less than one, if I'm sitting, someone immediately runs over to climb on.  A few times a day, sure, I can get that time to myself, but not more than a few.  

Edit:  Updated May 10th.     I swear..there was more to this post... MORE... where did it go... not a clue.

Anyways, if I had published my whole post, I would have said that while I was a partial failure...iit turns out I wasn't.  Yep, that's right.  I took about 2 weeks off in the middle, days and days went by as I tried to find the time to catch up.  All I did was my transverse holds and squeezes and worked on trying to move right during the days.   I was SURE I had totally failed the course and that I was so so far behind and this was yet another thing that I didn't finish properly (I have a way with not finishing....) but as it turns out, when I finally got over my dread and just watched the videos, I had already naturally started doing the next things in progression.  WHAT!??!  Not failure?   Sweet!    I was behind on stretching, and I was behind on some of the learning, but I had not lost my progress, and I could just pick up, and keep moving.  PHEW!   

So now, that's where I'm still at.   Is my diastasis totally closed?  Nope.  Do I look better?  Yep!  Do I feel better?  SO MUCH BETTER!!!!     I think my biggest change in physical appearance was in the first few weeks.   I didn't change much in how I looked after that, but I did keep changing in how I felt.  I kept feeling stronger and stronger.   My back is SO MUCH BETTER!!!   It's an amazing difference.   

Kelly said at some point, either in the course or in the forum, that there are certain times of the month for us women, that we're more likely to have the back problems, if we have them, and I've absolutely experienced this.    I am still having a few days every month when my back aches, and I'm quite sure at any moment that I'm going to be turned into a pretzel, but, so far, with the stretching I've learned I've been able to keep it from clicking into the "bad!" position.   It's not a fun few days, but it's so much better than it used to be when I would end up locked into some contorted position unable to stand upright and in pain for a week.     

I still have a tummy....I still have a lot of weight to lose, but I'm down 31 pounds, and I'm still working on the things I learned in the Core Foundations course (somedays more than others) and I'm still trying to remember to stretch.   I think it will be a long process for me, but that's OK, because I have already changed so much, that even if I never progress further than this, life for me now physically, is so much easier than before. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Actually talking about the course! - Part 5 of That Tummy Topic

There are other rambly parts to this story :)
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

So, after finding out that I had a diastasis.  I was determined to fix it!   I read all the information I could find on the Fit2B and Tummy Team websites.  I read testimonials and reviews, I marveled at before and after pictures, and I read all about splinting and the magical transverse abdominus (happy anatomy flashbacks, I loved  anatomy and histology). 

I got a membership for the Fit2B site, and I ordered a splint that I thought looked the most comfortable to me.    The Tummy Team course was out.    I really wanted it, but it just wasn't in the budget.    Then.... there was a sale!   And we somehow ended up with a little bit more money than expected (gotta love when that happens) and I was able to put the course into our budget.

I started in early December.   Olive was 7 months old.   I still looked pregnant.   My diastasis was somewhere around 4 fingers at the belly button,  a little less on the top and bottom, but I'm not very good at checking.   It was deep though, and just squishy underneath.  I could just feel the sides with nothing at all below and I could feel a pulse when I pushed down.

I'd been doing Weight Watchers online at the same time, and just before Christmas I hit 20lbs lost.   The belly wasn't budging though, still all pregnant looking.    I have before pictures.   I did actually take them as suggested in the course.   So I'll just post them below for you.... HAAAHHAAHAHA!  no I won't.    I will find photos, but they won't be bare belly photos.    Actually, right now, as I'm writing this I just looked back at those belly photos.   I haven't taken new ones,  I haven't lost anymore weight, but wow, the difference is pretty crazy.  I think I will go ahead and take after photos too, so I can really compare for myself.   I really wish I had the courage to show you the pictures, because it's really a bigger difference than I even realized.  I'm a little blown away right now. 

Here are two pictures of me from just after I started the course.  I started the course on Dec 6th. these are from Dec 11&12. The clothes don't help, and there is no side view, but, you get the idea.    Sorry, I'm just not tough enough to show my bare belly online :)

still looking kinda preggers
So, I started the Core Foundations program.   I watched the intro videos and felt like Kelly was talking specifically about me.   I was sitting in bed watching them on my iPad with my headphones before bed and I had to stop myself from shouting "YES!"  every time she said something.   You know some days you go to church and it's like the pastor wrote the sermon specifically to you.   Well, that's how I felt when I was watching the intro videos from the Core Foundations course.   Kelly was talking about ME!  She was describing MY body, and all the broken things that it did, or didn't do.   It was uncanny!

The first day I had so much trouble doing the exercises.   I couldn't do it.   I really couldn't do it at all.   Every time I tried to activate my transverse I just squeezed something else.   Every. Single. Time.    I am too far gone, I thought.   I'm in worse shape than those other people.   I can't do this.    I can't be helped.  I'm never going to get it.    Whine, whine, whine.   Wow, talk about easily discouraged!    I just kept trying, but I was so afraid of compensating, because you must avoid compensating, that I felt like I'd never get there.   I couldn't do anything without compensating, and I was having trouble and struggling with the fear that because I'd be compensating that I'd actually be making things worse instead of better.   

I just kept trying, and whenever I felt the compensating, I stopped.   I tried again later, I could do a hold for a couple of seconds maybe by the end of the first day, maybe it was the end of the first few days.   I'm not sure exactly when it started working but when I was finally able to engage my transverse it was seriously only for a couple of seconds at a time before I had to release and wait again till later.    I just kept doing it, all day long, over and over.   My checklists on the course sheet were not filled out because I didn't feel like I could actually properly check off any of those things.   

It was probably about day 4 before I felt like I could do a hold.    Still shorter than they're supposed to be, but the improvement was so fast!   I went from not being able to do even one hold for one second, to 4 days later being able to do real holds!   After waking up to that feeling and being able to do a hold it was all so much easier from there.  

I realized that without even thinking about it I was sitting properly at the dinner table, and in the car.   I started to actually feel more comfortable sitting properly.    I suddenly noticed that I looked a whole lot different in pants.  Yes, that's really what I meant to write.    Suddenly every time I walked into the bathroom the first thing that I saw was a difference in my belly.   A really big difference.   So quickly?!?!  How can this be possible!  My belly looks so much flatter.   I have still got a fair bit of extra weight on me, but I look very different.   The low roll was being pulled up, and in, and that looks a lot better.  That part that I've loathed, and that has made me feel like a failure, or lazy, or undisciplined, it was half gone. 

The pictures below are taken about 1 week after the pictures above.  These are from Dec 18 & 19.   The clothes help...yes they do.  I was trying to defrumpify, but it's still obvious I think how different I look.    There is only about 2 pounds difference in the first set of photos to these ones.  I think it looks more like there is 20 lbs difference.  Really...just 2. 

Apologies for my picture placements... I can't figure out how to properly format them. 

Abundantly Blessed - Part 4 of That Tummy Topic

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

So, after some fear, and a bit of uncertainty and some unfounded concerns about fertility, we were given these three awesome gifts from God.     Three amazing little people.   Three reasons to get up every morning.   Three reasons to laugh and smile.   Three reasons to STOP! and just look at them.   Three reasons to make sure I read my bible, because I can't teach them about Jesus if I don't know Him myself.   Three little individual persons, different, and so alike, and so perfectly perfect for us.

Near the end of my pregnancy with Olive, a friend of mine stood with me in the hallway at church and she said with tears in her eyes, that didn't it just feel like yesterday we weren't sure if we'd be able to have any kids  (We'd been told by the doctor at the fertility clinic after our second miscarriage that we would most likely have trouble, not to wait long, and to come back to him that he would take us)  and here we were expecting our third baby just a few years later.  

There are 22 months between Ruby and Jude, and then 12 months between Jude and Olive.

God blessed us abundantly, and quickly!

So, that's how I got here.   Where I sat in December 2013.   A now staying at home mom, to three sweet littles.   I felt like this is it now.   Since Olive's birth I've felt like now we are starting our life as a family.    That's a little hard to explain, and I'm not sure I get it myself, but I have felt like we're in a new season.

This new season is the one where I get things rolling.   Figure out the flow of our family.  How is it going to work.   How will I work through our days, run our house, teach our children and do all those things that my job entails.    It's also when I suddenly felt like now is the time for me to get my body back together.   I need my body to be put back together, so that I can take care of my family, and do my job, and be the mom.    The time is NOW!  We have arrived!!!  This is what I've always wanted, and dreamed of.     This is our house full of awesome with noise and dirt on it!  

Go to Part 5

The Babies!!! - Part 3 of That Tummy Topic

You can find part one here, and part two here.

So, I left off my last post with my due date for Ruby.    She was due June 2, 2010.  We waited, and waited.   I watched those home water birth plans get flushed down the toilet.    She was a full 2 weeks late, and let's just say that things did not go well.   There was a lot of fear, a lot of trauma, and a lack of care.     Luckily we're both OK, but I was damaged.   Really, quite damaged.      There is a whole long story that could go here, but since I rambled so much in my last post, and Ruby's birth is really a story of fear, humiliation, more fear, pain, exhaustion, fear, and pain, did I mention pain and fear.  I'll leave it alone.

I had surgery when Ruby was 8 months old and that helped a lot, but I was still in pain until after Jude was born.   My lovely OB raised her eyebrows, gave me a look of "what the heck is that" and went to work.   After Ruby my recovery took a little over a year and I was still in pain.   After Jude, my recovery was done in 6 weeks.  It really took the whole 6 weeks and it wasn't fun, but it was done, and I felt truly pain free.   Jude birth was GLORIOUS!  It was a fully medicalized hospital birth.  I had to be induced early because I had cholestasis.  I knew what was going on.   When he was having heart rate problems they were on it.   I was not afraid.   I did have an epidural, and it was a pretty awesome epidural.  I could feel everything, but it was not painful.   Pushing with Jude took 45 minutes.   Compared to the 2 1/2 hours for Ruby it felt so fast!  I felt awesome, so happy.   Jude's birth was really wonderful in every way.  I wouldn't change a thing (except maybe the recovery time).

My back started really going out when Jude was a few months old.    I would kink something, or pinch something and end up a pretzel.   It wasn't that uncommon.   I could tell my posture was different.  I knew my abs weren't what they used to be.  I knew my back problems were likely due to a weak core.    I didn't stand as straight anymore.   In particular, my shoulders rolled forward.  I have never had posture like this.   I grew up having people comment on how good my posture was.  I knew it was terrible now, but I didn't really know how to fix it. 

Jude also just did not sleep in the beginning.  I spent 2 or 3 hours every night sitting slumped but upright in a very uncomfortable chair, patting him and shushing him and rubbing his back for him to sleep.  He would sleep, but woke up every 15-20 minutes crying and I would pat and rub and he would go back to sleep....often with some farts :)    At 7 months old Jude started sleeping 7pm to 7am and he's still a sleeping champion!   We have a terrible time with him once it a lasts about a week, we think we can't go on, then he goes back to 7-7 sleepy bliss.  That boy is like sleeping magic.  

I got pregnant with Olive when Jude was about 4 months old.   Luckily it wasn't too much longer before Jude started sleeping through the night!    Olive's pregnancy was an easy one again.    Ruby's was great, Jude's was terrible, Olive's was great.   I'm blaming the boys  :D  Just joking.

I had cholestasis again, so Olive was a c-section as she was breech.   I clearly can't position a baby properly, as both Ruby and Jude were posterior babies...but at least those two were head down!

So, I had the c-section.   That sucked.  I hated the actual c-section.  The first 4-ish days of recovery sucked too, although not nearly as bad as recovery after Ruby's birth.    Then I started to feel a lot better.   I have to say, the c-section was BY FAR the easiest recovery I had.    BY FAR!  YAY! SUNROOF EXIT FOR THE WIN!!!

Gosh!   Get on with the actually tummy course woman...sheesh...

yeah...sorry... who knew I'd ramble like this.   Next post...promise!  

Go to Part 4 here 
Go to Part 5 here

Monday, February 17, 2014

The history - Part 2 of That Tummy Topic

Warning:  Lots of oversharing going on here.   This is a good post to skip if you don't want to know too much about me :)  it's also turned out to be ridiculously long.   Snore...

Read Part 1 of That Tummy Topic here

So, last post I talked about finding out that I have a rather significant diastasis recti, and about finding the Tummy Team, and signing up for the online course.

I have so many things to say about this that I'm not sure if I'll be able to organize my thoughts well, but I'm going to try.   I apologize in advance if things seem....not quite put together right (ha..kind of like my tummy!).

So, I've never really liked my tummy.   I've always had a bit of extra padding there.  I've always carried weight there.  Even when I was a size 6 at our wedding and I worked out 5 days a week, spent hours in the gym, lifted heavy weights, was cute and tiny...   yeah, I still had that tiny bit of padding over a soft lower tummy.  Not a lot...but there was no muscle definition in my lower abs.  Actually, if I think about it, my mom was built the same way, just overall a mini version :)   My sister is built the same way, and a couple of my aunts are built the same way.   If we were all the same weight, our bodies would look rather similar.    It's fine, I have no bum, I have no outer thighs, this is just my body shape, and honestly, when not carrying around a whole bunch of extra weight, I'm quite happy with it.   I felt pretty awesome in my blue and white daisy bikini on our honeymoon ;)

So, knowing that I always have a bit of a belly, I just thought that this was my new shape, the extra belly.  I have a lot of extra weight on me right now.   I kind of assumed that a lot of the belly would go away if I lost a lot of weight (really...a lot).

The weight gain started when we were trying to have our first baby.    I got pregnant, we were so happy!   Harold was shocked because he knew I was taking the test, and he kind of discouraged it, because he was afraid I'd be let down again.   I wasn't!  It was positive!   That pregnancy did not last long.    We only knew for about a week, but it was devastating nonetheless.  That was in October of 2008.    We were told we could start trying again right away.   It felt like it took forever to get pregnant again, but in reality, it was not very long at all.    When we did get pregnant again, I was a wreak.   I was terrified.   Forget the happy blissful pregnant lady.  I was full of anxiety and fear.   A friend was telling me I just needed to trust in God.  Honestly, it was meant to be a great comfort, but it just made me feel worse.  I DID trust in God, but I didn't know His plan, and His plan could hurt, and it did.    

My midwife knew how nervous I was so she sent me for an ultrasound at about the 10 week mark.   Phew!  I could relax after that.    I was so nervous!   I went in, and waited, ....for a long time.... laying on the bed waiting for my fears to be alleviated.   The ultrasound tech left for awhile, and then came back in.     I had told her that "I just want to know that there's a baby in there!"   She said to me "well, there is a baby in there"  and went around and showed me it's head, and it's feet, and arms and body, and all the little details.    She measured it for me, told me it was showing that it was 10 weeks gestation.  Phew!  That's good!  That's only a few days off from my calculation!  Then she said, "but I can't find a heartbeat".   The only thing I could say was "oh", as I just stared at our dead baby on the screen.   She said "that's not good".   She didn't think I understood what she was telling me.  I did, but I just stared at our perfect little person, who was no longer alive, and apparently had just died very recently...but when?   Yesterday?    Last week?   This morning?  Did I drink to much water preparing for the ultrasound and crush him/her?  ( irrational mind went there).

We had a long drive home.  We had gone out of town so that we could get in sooner, because I was so nervous we wanted to know things were OK as soon as possible.    As we drove away from that ultrasound, I said to Harold "I don't know if I can do this again"  he just grabbed my hand and said "Ok".   After my first miscarriage I NEEDED to be pregnant again as soon as possible, but this time, I couldn't imagine ever doing it again.

It was nearly another week of being pregnant before things were "over".   People had started to notice that my body looked a little different.   Perhaps I was showing, or perhaps my belly was starting to bloat for miscarriage related reasons, but either way,  people were starting to wonder if I was pregnant.   People were starting to ASK if I was pregnant.    After all, I really was still pregnant...but I was pregnant with a dead baby.   My baby!

 I had to visit my family doctors office and explain to 3 people there, one after another, what was happening.   They couldn't understand.   They didn't understand how I could be pregnant if the baby was dead.   But I wasn't having a miscarriage?!?!  So the baby was fine!  No, I told them again and again, the baby has no heartbeat, the baby is dead.   But that's impossible!  Is it now?   SERIOUSLY PEOPLE!!! YOU'RE DOCTORS!!!!   AND NURSES!!!    That took a lot of explaining and honestly they just didn't believe me.    It was at least an hour of exhausting explaining, over, and over, and having them look at me with blank she's so stupid this paranoid pregnant girl expressions.   So I had to go to another clinic in town.   At least there they knew what was going on.     They confirmed my baby was all there, but had no heartbeat.  They said it was too dangerous to go naturally and they wanted me to have a D&C.   Otherwise, he said, I'd just end up back in the emergency room needing a D&C then because of hemorrhaging.    Then he tried to send me over to the abortion clinic for the D&C because "miscarriage is really just an unplanned abortion"   or something to that effect.    I did not want to go to the abortion clinic.   I didn't think I could sit in the waiting room with women who didn't want their babies, when I so desperately wanted mine.    So, they sent us over to the hospital, where we were put on "board" which apparently meant that we were the last thing to happen, once everything else was done,  and they had an empty OR then it would be my turn.    The nurses were so very wonderful to me there.   We waited the whole day.   I think it was after 10pm when they took me in.    Lot's of other stuff went on here, and scared the crap out of my sweet Harold, but I'm not entirely sure how I ended up telling the story of my miscarriages instead of the story of my whoops!  I guess that's been waiting to come out. 
As we were driving away from the hospital it was after midnight.   I was super exhausted, there was talk about me needing to come back in to get some more blood pumped into me if I kept passing out in the days to come.   We looked at the clock on the dashboard and Harold said to me "oh, sorry sweetums, Happy Birthday"     That was June of 2009.

...and then I really started eating.  ...and eating.... and eating....  Apparently I find food tremendously comforting.   I especially find KFC comforting.   I ate a lot.    Whenever feeling blue, I ate... and ate...  somedays I'm still eating chocolate chips out of the peanut butter jar!

So yeah,  that's when I really started gaining weight, after the two miscarriages. 

The first month we were "allowed" to try again, we got pregnant.   WHAT?!  really.   We got pregnant, and had a good, though very depressed pregnancy.  Near the end I was much better emotionally.   I gained an enormous amount of weight.   Though I was actually pretty fit, and was walking about 1-2 hours every day near the end.   I felt really great physically, and I was so ready for this baby girl to arrive!

I had taken the natural childbirth class. I had read the books.  I was set up for breastfeeding.  I had a home waterbirth planned and my room was set up perfectly with all the supplies requested by my midwives.   I had food frozen.   The baby's room was done.   Her clothes were hung up, her diaper table was organized with all the supplies.  All the cloth diapers were prepped and ready to go.    Our little girl was DUE June 2nd, or 2010. 


Go to Part 3