Post Partum: Weeks 12 and 13

Awesome week and finally made it to Back Alley in addition to yoga and walking. Feeling excellent! I’m attending the 101 classes twice a week. This is allowing me to ease back into it and minimize any scaling. I’m also still wearing my heart rate monitor to now gauge my capabilities without a baby.

Some things I’ve learned in my short three months as a momma:

1. CrossFit is the best way to start shedding that baby weight. Shouldn’t come as a surprise, I know, but after just two days, I can see and feel a difference.

2. The minute you don’t have clothing back-up, the baby will have a blow-out. Thanks little miss for christening my come back to the box with a blow-out mid-WOD. Glad you’re comfortable in just a diaper!

3. That being said, less really is more! All of the sudden my car is full of stuff – bags of returns, swimming gear, workout gear, library books, a stroller, dog gear – and our baby is only three months! We love the Skip Hop pronto changing station. We now have three because they are totally genius. I keep mine stocked with diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, Advil, first aid kit, extra outfit. When out and about, I can easily just grab it to change her – in the car, in a random bathroom, at the box, etc. We have three because we keep one in each car and one with the stroller.

4. Drive-throughs are a mom’s best friend (and I don’t mean the McDonalds!). Thanks Starbucks for keeping me caffeinated and hydrated while I keep my baby sleeping in the back seat.

I’m sure it’s old news by now, but love that CrossFit HQ is finally giving some attention to all the awesome women out there who CrossFit while pregnant. Be sure to watch the latest video, if you haven’t already.

For a quick snack pre- or post-WOD, I recently made these no bake protein bites from HeandSheEatClean. Super simple to make and who can beat the no bake part?! I also made mine lactation friendly by adding in a tablespooon of brewer’s yeast. You can easily sub the peanut butter for almond butter for a more paleo-friendly option. YUM!

And we have been meeting the newest CrossFit babies! Both Katie and Sara delivered healthy, precious babes. Aren’t they darling?

With Katie and Baby Rounds at Back Alley

With Katie and Baby Rounds at Back Alley

Meeting Baby Hillman at the hospital.

Meeting Baby Hillman at the hospital.

Postpartum Weeks 10 and 11

As I mentioned in my previous post, my number one goal is to preserve my ability to make milk. However, I am equally eager to shed some of these added pounds in the next few months. This balance is a huge mental challenge, especially because I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I read a blog post by Blonde Ponytail on “Body after Baby,” which provides great tips, number five being the most important for me: BE PATIENT.

In the spirit of CrossFit’s constantly varied mentality, I have been working out slowly and strategically OUTSIDE the box. Yoga. Barre. Running. At home weight training. Easing my body back into it before I hit the big weights. Week 10 I managed some running and yoga. This week, I worked in a Barre class and managed to do something Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Not too shabby. Here’s hoping I can keep up the momentum and work in some higher intensity.

In the meantime, I’ve received some great questions from readers about my experiences while pregnant.

Did you increase [weight] during your pregnancy? My doctor said to stop lifting at seven months. I see you did not do that. I am no where near the weight you lift but did you decrease your weight the last few months? Yes, but I understand I’m an anomaly. My coach and I worked closely together to monitor this. But my body craved and thrived with bigger weights. I hit a number of PRs on a number of Olympic lift in my third trimester. As always, work closely with your doctor and coach before attempting this and LISTEN to your body.

After having your baby have you lifted weights? While traveling recently, I visited two boxes and did some Olympic lifts, but I haven’t been to my home box yet. I have done some free weights at home. I’m trying to balance a lot and I hurt myself around weeks 5/6 postpartum with a kettlebell workout, so I’m hypersensitive because of that.

I want to try to keep my core as strong as possible so it isn’t as rough getting my mid-line back in shape after the baby. I do a lot of planks, but do you have any other suggestions? During my pregnancy, my core modification was v-sits on the box. It was amazing for my mid-line post-baby and something I plan to do daily next baby. Planks are also great, especially if you can vary with side planks and leg or arm raises.

What things did you stay away from in the second and third trimesters? Again, do what makes you feel good and work with your coaches to determine modifications. What worked for me, might not work for you. With that said, here are the modifications I used:

  • Once I started to put on weight, I couldn’t do pull-ups (that isn’t a strength of mine and something I was working on prior to my pregnancy). I subbed with ring rows.
  • I avoided inversions, but I know previously featured athletes Sara and Katie had no problems with handstand walks and push-ups. Coach & I subbed in something else entirely for me here.
  • Sit-ups became v-sits on the box (though I did sit-ups longer than some of the other athletes thought I should have. I probably could have gone longer, but I let them get in my head.
  • Push-ups became problematic third trimester because of my protruding belly, so I worked on push-ups on the wall.
  • I slam my body during burpees; in the first and second trimester, I subbed with push-ups and jumping jacks; third trimester it was wall push-ups and air squats.
  • Box jumps became step ups.
  • I didn’t do any bench press and in the second trimester stopped snatching. Usually, I just did another lift. I did a lot of shoulder work my entire pregnancy, which was to my advantage because it’s a weakness of mine.
  • Running was uncomfortable in the third trimester so I walked or rowed.
  • I stopped yoga at week 35 or 36 because the positions got too uncomfortable.

Any lessons learned? I wish I would have eaten cleaner/more paleo so I wouldn’t have gained as much weight. Ironic I know because I was poo-pooing the doctors for scolding me. Live and learn. But the reality is that losing these extra pounds is a tricky physical and mental challenge for me because I’m up against a low milk supply + a strong desire to nurse for 12 months.

I also wish I had known my heart rate prior to becoming pregnant. Any readers out there who are trying to get pregnant: I highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor now and learn what your body is capable of before you get pregnant. That way you can better modify and understand your limits.

All-in-all, I was blessed with an easy pregnancy, delivery, and first two and a half months. I appreciate my support system and all my readers.

And nothing like getting major inspiration watching the CrossFit Games, which are live on ESPN 3 this weekend. Be sure to tune in and watch some of the best. Wish we were there again this year! Such an awesome weekend, celebrating the sport we love.

Any words of wisdom or modifications to add?

Nine weeks Postpartum

What an awesome journey! We are loving parenthood with all the joys and challenges it brings, and we’ve had many of both. The joys are pretty obvious – nothing can compete with the love in our hearts, especially with all the smiles and coos she shares with us.

The greatest challenge has been milk production. Since we weren’t sure I would even be able to nurse, we’re obviously thrilled that I can. However, it took quite awhile (six weeks) for my milk to truly come in and it took some time to figure out how much I was producing. With the help of an excellent lactation consultant and support of many momma friends, I have found the right balance of supplements needed to boost my supply (the best of the best being Fenugreek). And little miss is gaining the proper weight (but that took many weeks!).

Fenugreek

As a result, I haven’t been back to CrossFit as quickly as I wanted because I haven’t wanted to hurt my supply. For the early weeks, I was also nursing around the clock, so I was too depleted to even try to get in the box. Now add in the 115 degrees and, well, it’s honestly a challenge to motivate.

In the early weeks, I did do a few at home WODs, one of which left me injured, delaying my return. It seems as though my joints are more sensitive and I’m more likely to pull a muscle now that little miss isn’t around to hold me together. It’s what my doctor warned me of during my pregnancy, but since it never happened, I never thought it would happen postpartum. A week of ice, heat, Advil, and a trip to the chiropractor and I was healed. But it left me nervous to do too much.

We also spent three weeks in the Midwest and Colorado. That time afforded me cooler temps to walk, run and squeeze in some WODs between visits with family and friends. I visited CrossFit Fond du Lac with my cousin, Maggie, for a great workout. Definitely check out this box in you’re in the area. Nick is a great coach and was extremely sensitive to my injury and postpartum status.

CrossFit FDL WOD

CrossFit FDL WOD

Post-WOD with Maggie

Post-WOD with Maggie

I was also able to fit in some lifting at CrossFit Beat, the newest box in South Boulder, Colo. Awesome garage set-up and fun atmosphere at the foot of the Flat Irons. Our friend Adam is a great guy and coach. Strongly recommend hitting it up when in Boulder.

Lifting at CrossFit Beat

Lifting at CrossFit Beat

Field bounding for Frankie in Boulder

Field bounding for Frankie in Boulder

Now that we’re home, and I am feeling more confident in my ability to nurse, I’ll be getting back to Back Alley and hopefully some yoga. Can’t wait for the cooler temps to walk and run, too!

Any postpartum tips or motivation you have to share?

Athlete Profile: Katie Rounds

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Katie Rounds and I met at Back Alley CrossFit in Phoenix, Ariz. She’s a smart, successful woman with two beautiful girls and an equally successful husband, Cody. They are expecting baby number three and unlike the first two, the gender is a surprise for this little one.

Katie started CrossFitting in March of 2012, at the persistence of Cody and one of her best friends, Katy. Katy and Cody were working out in Katy’s back alley garage. Subsequently, Katy and Cody now own Back Alley CrossFit with two other partners. A bit serendipitous, wouldn’t you say?

Katie and her family

Katie and her family

Katie is due in June and has consistently CrossFitted during her third pregnancy. Here are her thoughts on the experience:

Why I started CrossFit: While I have always loved working out and have been a member at a gym since I was old enough to join, CrossFit wasn’t an easy sell for me at first. I was very hesitant about the financial commitment, childcare options and convenience of locations and class schedules. My husband, Cody, and friend, Katy, convinced me to work out with them in Katy’s back alley garage to see what it was all about and I obliged (it was really a stall tactic from agreeing to join a CrossFit gym). My “big box” gym membership was cancelled that same month and I can’t imagine my life without CrossFit in it now.

Kettlebell swings - prebump

Kettlebell swings – prebump

Other exercise practices: I grew up through school always participating in athletics (volleyball, swim, track and cheer). I also enjoy hiking during the cool Arizona months, but with two kiddos always in tow, CrossFit has been my primary source of exercise for the last two years.

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: To maintain my pre-pregnancy workout level (with modifications of course….superman core work on the ground just isn’t an option with a belly!). With this being my third pregnancy, I understand how important it is for my body to sustain a strong core to help minimize the third trimester back pain always accompanies my pregnancies. With each of my prior pregnancies, I have gained more than 50 pounds, and this pregnancy is on track to be the same. Being a naturally smaller person in height and weight, this additional pressure on my back and hips has been intense; maintaining that strong core has been my only way to overcome this.

Overhead squats

Overhead squats

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it? My doctor is very supportive, as this was an exercise practice that I had been doing pre-pregnancy. There was no “limit” set on my heart rate, but was instead told to listen to my body and respond accordingly.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support? The community of the Back Alley CrossFit has been supportive and encouraging. Having several others in our gym that are pregnant and CrossFitting at the same time also helps for modification advice for certain workouts.

Don't drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

Don’t drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: I’ve learned that many people who aren’t familiar with CrossFit can be quick to pass judgment that being pregnant and doing CrossFit “isn’t safe” or is “too intense.” Standing in my shoes and knowing what my limits were pre-pregnancy and what my limits are currently, I know that what I am doing is an incredibly healthy thing for my body and my pregnancy.

Handstand push ups

Handstand push ups

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: I am a very competitive person so it has been hard to force myself to step back, let others pass me and not push as hard as I typically would. Lifting lighter and slowing down has also allowed me to work on correcting form in areas that I may have been sacrificing before. I am hoping that being pregnant is kind of like working out with a weighted vest…once it comes off, everything that felt hard before will be much easier and I can finally beat Katy at something!

Katie and Katy - pre bump

Katie and Katy – pre bump

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? We have followed a partial paleo lifestyle through most of our years doing CrossFit. Throughout this pregnancy, we have done less paleo with the introduction more dairy and grains (and coffee almond Haagen dazs ice cream bars!). The kids certainly enjoy this change. Overall, even when we aren’t following a paleo lifestyle, we are still eating healthy and balanced meals.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: Sit ups are still possible! I was doing regular CrossFit sit-ups until about six months pregnant, but when the belly started to get too much in the way, I used bands on the pull-up rig to hold onto and allow assistance up.

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant? Besides the satisfaction and energy that comes after a CrossFit workout while pregnant, I know that my recovery post-baby will be so much easier and faster because of CrossFit.

Favorite quote: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

Favorite girl WOD: Cindy (20 min AMRAP- 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats). I like small batches of things that I can do over and over again.

Three words that describe me: Multi-tasker (but really good at delegating; ask my husband!), determined, organized

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: Working full-time as senior development manager for a local real estate company, moonlighting as a wedding and lifestyle photographer for my photography company (Round Lens Photography), chauffeuring my two daughters around town to school, gymnastics, dance, t-ball, swim…you name it, we do it! Free time is a rare thing in the Rounds’ house but when we have it, I enjoy playing in the yard with the kids, taking naps all afternoon, catching up on good Netflix shows and extended shopping trips to Target without the kids!

Doesn't she look amazing?

Doesn’t she look amazing?

Back at it: Week One

Seventeen days post-delivery and I’m working on establishing a routine. We’re starting slow to make sure I don’t injure myself.

My daily routine this week includes walking 1-2 miles with pooch and stroller in tow. Then I’m doing sit-ups and push ups. Both my core and arms feel strong and I’m able to knock out 50 reps of each fairly easily. My stamina is in-tact.

I haven’t made the transition to strict paleo yet, but I’m working on it. Since I’m nursing, I’m trying to stay balanced and clean (yet I have enjoyed some ice cream sandwiches in this heat!). Again, I think taking it slow is the right recipe for me.

The more we’ve learned and heard from other couples about post-partum depression and weepiness, we are both so thankful for the placenta encapsulation. I experienced some weepiness before receiving the pills and I can’t imagine weeks of that. Instead, I’m emotionally even, have energy, and feel like I’m well on my way to full recovery. Highly recommend to anyone considering or who have experienced postpartum depression with previous pregnancies.

In other news … literally news, we’ve had some awesome coverage of the blog. A few we are proud of:

There has been worldwide coverage (a bit bizarre to see my likeness next to all sorts of language) and of course the Jimmy Kimmel spoof (thanks, I guess?!). We also have a few more interviews underway.

Lea Ann Ellison – God bless her. She endured the brunt of the negative commentary with her picture this past Fall. That made our media storm much more bearable and focused on the message Chad and I want to deliver:

Woman can and should maintain their exercise regime while pregnant. It’s not a time to throw all your hard work to the wayside. It’s a chance to embrace your new body, ease your pregnancy and delivery, and set a positive example for your kids.

With this attention, I’m hoping to be able to feature more athletes who are currently CrossFitting and pregnant or who have ventured down the path before. Leave a comment if you’re interested in participating.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support!

Pregnancy: Childbirth One Rep Max

ReadySticker (1)

Baby L - Overdue!

Baby L – Overdue!

A week ago today I completed the ultimate WOD – childbirth. It was such a rewarding experience; one of the best PRs I’ve ever gained!

After our doctor appointment on Friday, I was very emotional and having a hard time waiting. I didn’t have to wait long. By 12:45 p.m., my water broke. And no ladies, it’s not one big gush like Hollywood portrays. Instead it’s a slow, awkward leak. Lovely.

I called the doctor’s office and they told us to head to the hospital. Since I wasn’t having contractions, we took our time. By 4 p.m., we were settling in our labor and delivery room; our room was fabulous – large with a great view of the downtown skyline. To stay busy, I wrote my last post. My hips were bearing the discomfort at the time, so I found great relief in the exercise ball.

Smiles before contractions started

Smiles before contractions started

Blogging!

Blogging!

Unfortunately, I still wasn’t dilating. The doctor talked to us about our options and receiving small doses of Pitocin seemed to be our best way to jump-start dilation and contractions. By 9 p.m., my contractions were two minutes apart, lasting 30 seconds each (aka painful), but I still wasn’t really dilating, holding strong at a three. And I was exhausted. The anxiety, emotion and actual CrossFit WODs from the week had built up and my poor body was done. The hubs and I spoke at length and decided I should get the epidural.

One word: GODSEND

I was asleep almost instantly and slept through the night.

I feel like I got the best of both worlds. I experienced my water breaking naturally. I went through intense contractions. And I got sleep, glorious sleep.

Throughout the night, the doctors and nurses would check on me. At 4:30 a.m., my OB stopped by to check my dilation and I was, “beyond a 10.” I asked for a few minutes to freshen up.

I woke Chad by saying, “it’s time to have a baby.” Bless him, he was so confused and excited in the same token. We both took some time brushing our teeth and washing our faces (highly recommend if there’s time!).

The sky was lightning as the sun started to rise. Chad started our push playlist and we barely got into the meat of it. In less than 20 minutes, our strong, beautiful daughter entered the world with big eyes and a wail. It was the best workout I have ever completed.

Since then, we’ve been reveling in her magic.

Taking her all in

Taking her all in

Proud Poppa

Proud Poppa

Some follow-up notes:

  • Pooch has been remarkable. He was introduced to her scent with her first beanie and blankie. Since we’ve arrived home, he showers her with kisses, checks on her and is a great protector.
First introduction of scent

First introduction of scent

  • The placenta encapsulation was the right choice for us. Since receiving, the pills have helped balance my hormones, given me energy, and are hopefully helping with milk production.

Placenta (1)

Placenta encapsulation

Placenta encapsulation

  • I am able to breastfeed, but it’s slow going. We’re just thankful she’s getting some nutrients from me.

These last nine months were definitely made possible by our Back Alley CrossFit family (and all our family and friends!). Especially in the last trimester. The love, support, and encouragement fellow members extended when I was working out was awesome. And that hasn’t ended – from visits, cards, flowers, gifts, meals, support and advice with breastfeeding and sleeping – we are definitely feeling power of the CrossFit community and within the community we have built near and far. Endless thanks for all the love and support.

And to all my readers, the blog won’t stop here. Now it’s time to get my body back! I hope you’ll continue to follow my journey as I ramp back up into CrossFit and continue to feature other CrossFit and pregnant athletes.

We have already started walking, extending our distances each day. I’m proud to say the pounds are falling off (so take that docs who scolded me!). It’s my intention to be back in the box within three weeks. Coach Melissa and I have already started talking about what my comeback will be like – more conditioning and less lifting for the first few months. It will be quite a physical and mental challenge for me.

So, there you have it. The WOD of a lifetime. Lots of lessons learned, but the end result is a happy, healthy and very strong baby. Here’s to all the CrossFit and pregnant women out there!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and moms-to-be.

xoxox,

Team Leatherman

TeamLeatherman2

Pregnancy: Week 40

Well, that Baby L had us fooled. Here I thought early; the hubs thought on time; and it’s five days overdue. Quite the test of patience for us already.

CrossFit with momma

CrossFit with momma

Despite the patience testing, it was a fun week.

Pooch is camera ready!

Pooch is camera ready!

Interview time

Interview time

Saturday we were interviewed about our CrossFit and pregnant experience. While I can’t divulge major details right now, it was a fun day. The hubs was amazing on camera and throughout the interview. We did part of it at home and the other part in Back Alley CrossFit with Coach Melissa and my non-preggers WOD pal Hadar. They were both rock stars on camera, too! We did a mix of video and still shoots. Can’t wait to see final product – stay tuned!

Coach Melissa getting interview prepped.

Coach Melissa getting interview prepped.

Hadar, Chad and Momma watch

Hadar, Chad and Momma watch

Hadar's turn!

Hadar’s turn!

On Sunday, momma, Chad, Frankie and I enjoyed a leisurely morning. We walked to brunch and popped in some shops. That evening my dad arrived and we met the aunties for an Italian dinner. Everyone kept telling me I needed to eat eggplant – so where better than an Italian joint?! I topped it with asking for it to be made spicy and they delivered … but I sure didn’t!

Monday, we went to the doctor. Still about one centimeter dilated … she stripped my membranes (not pleasant!) and told us sex-sex-sex. These docs love the sex!

Lounging with pooch

Lounging with pooch

The rest of the week was focused on R&R. Napping, reading, a pedicure, trip to the chiropractor, making yummy dinners, walking, watching movies (including “The Other Woman” HILARIOUS!), and CrossFit. All in all, a good week.

I’m just really to the point of becoming uncomfortable. CrossFit definitely makes me feel better and provides a sense of normalcy. The temps haven’t been too bad either, especially at night, so I’m not experiencing terrible sweating fits (yet!). It is supposed to be in the 100’s this weekend.

We’ve gotten many questions on inducement since I am past due. Luckily, our office isn’t huge on that. I did have a non-stress test (NST) and AFI test for fluids today. I’m dilated another centimeter; all my levels are normal; the baby is still very active; it’s all we can hope for. I prefer to try for natural options – more selfishly because I want to know what everything feels like. I have started second guessing all the movement, cramping, what I thought were contractions, etc. In the meantime, we’ll do another series of tests on Monday and meet with the doctor to discuss next steps … unless Baby L decides to come this weekend.

Week 40 WODs: Another great week of successes!

Saturday, April 26: warm up 300m row

Strength: Back Squat 3×5 + 1 – 150# – new PR. This was achieved during filming. I realized in prepping for it that I hadn’t done a one rep max back squat pr attempt since 2012. Definitely time. Unfortunately, we ran out of time with filming and photography getting in the way. Coach Melissa thinks I can definitely handle another 20-30#.

Monday, April 28: warm up

Strength: overhead squats 5×6 – 75#

Metcon: 12:50

  • 750m row 250m row
  • 25 burpees (on wall)
  • 25 push press (75#)
  • 25 air squats
  • 800m run/walk 400m walk

Tuesday, April 29: warm up

Strength: ring work in place of bench press

Metcon: 4 rounds – 15:15

  • 10 deadlifts (225/155)
  • 20 hand release push ups (on wall)
  • 10 dead hang pulls ups ring rows
  • 20 v-sits

Wednesday, April 30: warm up

Back Squat

Back Squat

Getting low

Getting low

165#

165#

Strength: Back Squat, find 1 rep max Got to 165#!!!

Metcon: 10 min AMRAP – 2+20

  • 5 back squat (953)
  • 15 box jumps (step ups)
  • 200m row
  • 5 back squat
  • 15 box jumps
  • 200m row

Friday, May 2: Warm up – 200m row

Strength: deadlift 4×6, don’t pause at top. Worked to 165#. Definitely feeling the pregnancy in my hips and low back.

Push press with the hubs

Strict press with the hubs

Strict Press

Strict Press

Metcon: 5min AMRAP – 2+5

  • 10 ring dips
  • 10 strict push press (65#)
  • 5 elevated push ups

Food: paleo, spicy, eggplant … anything to get this baby out! Seriously, been eating well. Still love icees, ice cream and iced tea!