After my first pregnancy last year, I decided to write a “body after baby” series just to give an inside look at my own personal post-pregnancy fitness and weight loss journey. I wanted to keep accountability in my program, as well as assist others with tips and advice for their own journey. With the success of the first series, I knew I wanted there to be a part two for my second pregnancy and subsequent journey.
We welcomed our second baby boy James into the world on Friday the 26th of May. We had scheduled an induction, which made the entire experience quite different than with our first son Robert. It was nice to be able to have a plan in place for the arrival of James; having a babysitter lined up for Robbie eased my nerves (a little bit) and it was nice knowing how the day was going to lay out for us. We basically checked in around 830 am, and within a half hour I was walking around the delivery room with an IV pole. The first half of the day was pretty slow with not much progress; we hung out watching the CrossFit Regionals coverage and waited for the medicine to kick in.
It wasn’t until about 5 or 6 pm that I was in enough pain to want the epidural. I went through every trick (including air squats) I had to fight through the pain and try to progress the labor as far as I could naturally, and made it to 6cm dilated before I wasn’t scared of the epidural needle anymore. Things progressed faster than expected after that; around 9 that night the nurse checked dilation and told me James was ready to come out. They called the doctor, got the baby warmer and tools ready, and I pushed. James made his arrival at 9:36 weighing 8 lbs exactly, measuring 21 inches long (just like his older brother).
Fast forward to Sunday, when we got released from the hospital, and where my post-baby body journey begins. Having two pregnancies so close together, I’ve been worried how that would affect recovery this time around. Having hip issues even before my first pregnancy, I was limited on how often I was able to workout the past couple months. So far that hasn’t affected recovery as much as I thought it would; my progress has closely resembled that of my first pregnancy. I know that most likely won’t be the case as I begin to workout and try to regain muscle loss and especially rebuilding my core. However, it feels incredible to have the mobility and range of motion back that I had been so very limited on.
Just a little background: I have been an athlete most of my life; my brother and I spent most of our childhood playing sports with the neighbor kids, which led into 14 years of being on a team of some sort. After joining the military in 2011, which was a career that took even more physical strength, I took on the goal of gaining muscle. I started CrossFit, which ended up being one of the best decisions of my life. Not only have I reached a level of strength and confidence I never thought possible, but I was lead into the direction of an exercise science degree and a career in personal training/coaching. I have been a part of several gym communities over the last six years, most recently here in Tucson, Great Times CrossFit. The past three years I went from attending CrossFit classes regularly, to competing locally as an individual and member of the gym’s team, to eventually training and coaching classes. Before getting pregnant, I was training for hours everyday on top of practically living at the gym; it was my life. While I loved this lifestyle, I was over-the-moon excited when my husband and I found out we were expecting our first little one. Even though I still worked out up until the day I gave birth, I was no longer training to compete; I was exercising to stay healthy. This was what you could call a very “humbling” experience for me. As a healthy athlete with a background in gymnastics, I’ve never really been limited as to what I could do, or attempt to do, in the gym. It was difficult to monitor my heart rate and scale back at such a drastic level, but I knew it was what was best for the baby and my pregnant body. I was just happy to be able to continue what I loved to do, even if it wasn’t at the level I was used to.
Recovery and getting back into the gym was an incredibly slow process; it was difficult to look at my previous numbers and not get frustrated that I was so far behind where I “used to be.” I realized that I needed to work on technique and basically rehabilitating my muscles before I could see those strength gains. While I never fully returned to “training” as how I previously defined the term, we fast forward to post baby number two and it’s about time to increase the intensity.
This being my second pregnancy and delivery going as well as it had with my first, I already had an idea of what recovery would look like. The first time around was frustrating and nerve racking; not knowing how long I would be out of the gym, not knowing how long I would basically be couch-ridden and especially not knowing how long it would take for the weight to come off. This time though, I have a little more respect for the process and realize that everything comes in time.
As I work towards my goal of becoming a competitive athlete again, I’m planning to share my progress pictures as well as some of my workouts and glimpses of what I eat in a day. Follow along if you need motivation, advice, and tips for your own fitness journey!
The following pictures reflect a side view, then a front view of the progress starting with two days postpartum and ending with day seven. As the week went on, the “foundation” of my stomach shape began to start showing. The first couple days I still felt like a jiggly version of being pregnant; it was hard to get deep breaths from the lack of tension and my core was completely deactivated. Day by day it has tightened up a bit, and towards the end of the week I am finally able to contract my abdominal muscle, which is the turning point and sigh of relief for me. The core muscles are one of the main things to focus on with each and every exercise; being able to control these muscles again is the first step towards getting back into the gym (which I am not rushing this time!)
So if you look in my closet, you’ll see that the ratio of workout clothing to regular is about 90/10. I absolutely love workout gear and I’m thrilled I can finally wear more than the same 5 pieces I’ve been rewashing a thousand times because it’s all that fit. Here’s a few things I’ve purchased recently that have given me even more motivation to start this fitness journey.
Reebok Nano 7’s (Find them here)
Usually I’m a Nike girl, but I have owned a pair of almost all the Nano’s and even just trying these on I can tell they’re going to fit better than past models.
Lululemon Wunder Under Pant (Find them here)
High waisted is the new thing….and it makes me so happy! I tried these on before I was pregnant and loved them, but didn’t buy them until recently. I’m ridiculously excited to actually wear them.
Nike Pro Classic Swoosh Sport Bra (Find this here)
Once again, Nike girl. I used to buy the older style of this bra but the band was pretty thick. I like this new version; longer with a band that flows into the rest of the bra
Reebok CrossFit Chase Shorty Short (Find them here)
The new version is these shorts are seamless in the front, which lay better than the previous style. I am all about the compression shorts
What I ate in a day
Breakfast: I finally tried Simple Mills waffle mix and holy cow it’s the best gluten free mix I’ve had. I’m never a fan of mixes (I usually have all the ingredients to make my own) but it’s just so convenient! I topped it with 100% real maple syrup, banana slices and dairy-free mini chocolate chips. I also had a cup of bulletproof coffee on the side.
Morning snack: I’ve never been a huge yogurt fan, but Siggi’s Icelandic yogurt is probably my new favorite food. There’s very little sugar per serving, and the flavors are delicious. I topped it with blueberries and Elizabeth gluten-free granola.
Afternoon snack: I had both snacks close(ish) together, so I didn’t really eat lunch. I drank a suja juice along with the mixed berry RX bar (new favorite flavor).
Dinner: We bought a couple whole chickens from Costco and roasted them with a few herbs and spices in the oven. Super simple and lasted for about 3 meals! I made these maple dijon roasted carrots and threw together a simple feta, arugula salad with Tessamae’s Caesar dressing.