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: 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!

Pregnancy: Week 39

Another week under our belts and no signs of Baby L.

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Team Leatherman. Easter Sunday. 39 weeks.

Team Leatherman. Easter Sunday. 39 weeks.

It was fairly low key in our household. We enjoyed a quiet Easter and a quiet week. I finished work last Thursday, so I’ve been taking care of odds and ends, cooking and prepping paleo food for post-baby arrival, CrossFitting, and enjoying some pampering.

Breakfast bread, paleo style

Breakfast bread, paleo style

Food prep – one of the easiest things I can do, especially for the hubs, is whip up some paleo breakfast breads and freeze them to use once our parents leave. I made the following: carrot, zucchini, cinnamon strudel and lemon poppy seed. YUM! I also made two meatloafs (I seriously make a mean and flavorful meatloaf), three containers of spaghetti sauce, and marinated some pork tenderloin to freeze. Plus, I stocked the freezer with lots of grilling meat so we can easily whip up dinners.

As the temps in Phoenix have increased, sadly, so have my feet. I’m experiencing swelling, bruising and aching in my feet and ankles. No bueno. To help, on Monday, I had an awesome adjustment from the chiropractor. She applied some heat ultrasound therapy to my swollen feet and that helped to reduce the swelling. Tuesday, I treated myself to an amazing massage. He worked me from head-to-toe, but paid extra attention to my feet. I melted on the table it felt so good!

Wednesday was our weekly doctor appointment. While there’s no change in dilation, she said I was “loose” and she could feel the baby’s head. She told me to stay active, hydrated, and pampered. No problem following those instructions! As for my feet, it’s the time of year and point in my pregnancy, so she wasn’t surprised.

Aunties2 (1) Aunties2 (2)

39 weeks with Aunties and Momma

39 weeks with Aunties and Momma

My mom arrived on Tuesday and we hosted my aunts for a yummy dinner. Wednesday, we ventured to their house to enjoy the pool and another family dinner together. So fun having family around. Since babykins is staying put, they ventured north to enjoy Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Love that they are getting a mini-sisters trip out of this visit, too.

Week 39 WODs: It was a freakishly awesome week in the box. I set two impressive PRs – one in push press and one in deadlifts. My mom also joined me for her first CrossFit WOD.

Monday, April 21: warm up – 200m row

110# Push Press

110# Push Press

strength: Push Press 6-6-5-5-4-4 – 110# x3 PR (Last week I got a PR of 95# x1)

metcon: 3 rounds – 14:44

  • 500m row 200m run
  • 15 pull ups ring rows
  • 15 push press – 75#

Plus 2.5 mile walk with Frankie

Tuesday, April 22: warm up

strength: Back Squat 4×6: 125#

Step ups!

Step ups!

metcon:Instead of three rounds each set, I did two rounds. There was a 25 min time cap. I finished in 23:15. This was definitely a heart rate raiser!

  • 3 rounds
  • 25 wall balls (20/14)
  • 1 min max row (totaled 200m)
  • 2 min rest
  • 3 rounds
  • 25 box jumps (24/20) – step ups
  • 1 min max burpees – I did on wall (20 total)
  • 2 min rest
  • 3 rounds
  • Ground to overhead (45/25)
  • 1 min max toes to sky

Plus 2.5 mile walk with Frankie

Wednesday, April 23: Momma joined me!

Momma working on shoulder mobility

Momma working on shoulder mobility

warm up: 300m row

Romanian Deadlift 165#

Romanian Deadlift 165#

strength: Romanian deadlifts from 45# plates 5×6 – 165#

Kettlebell swinging

Kettlebell swinging

metcon: Did a modified WOD from what was programmed because my legs were bothering me.

  • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
  • KB swings (1 pood)
  • Romanian deadlift from 12″ box with 45# bar

Friday, April 25: warm up: 200m walk + 300m row

strength: deadlift 8-8-5-5-3-3: 215# PR (Previous PR was 205# x 1 rep in Sept.)

metcon: 15min amrap – 5 rounds

  • 20 knees to elbow from ground from box
  • 10 medball deadlift shrugs (20/14)
  • 10 medball front squats (20/14)
  • 50m dash

Food: paleo + ice cream (and anything to keep me cool, really). Icees, iced tea and water are favorite choices.

Pregnancy Week 38

Week 38 was a huge tease. Huge.

I started cramping on Sunday during church; labor cramping to the point that we had to leave after the Eucharist and I sat most of mass. My reaction? I was immediately excited. Chad was more skeptical … and the hubs won out. Not much more happened.

38 weeks, climbing South Mountain with Heather

38 weeks, climbing South Mountain with Heather

Full Moon Hike recap

Full Moon Hike recap

Tuesday night, we joined our friend Heather for a full moon hike at South Mountain. We had never hiked this trail. It was gorgeous and very different from the trails we frequent. And watching the moon rise was spectacular. It rose as a sliver of orange and as it was cresting, the coyotes started barking and howling. That put pooch on high alert! We sat and watched it rise and transform for almost an hour before heading down. It was a magical night; the baby thought so too, because it gave me more cramping (yippee!).

Wednesday morning, at the chiropractor, the doc that adjusts my hips was confident I would deliver this week given the shift in my body and hips…

Since then, it’s been a mix of mild contractions and cramping. I’ve been trying some of the old wives tales – spicy food and long walks – coupled with CrossFit. Friday, we saw our doctor. The result? Still just one centimeter of dilation. She did say there was noticeable difference and progress from the prior week, but clearly not enough to deliver! Her recommendation? Sex. Lots of it! Quite the homework assignment!

Thursday was the final day of my work contract. I’m officially a free woman to test out my new job as a momma. So, now we wait!

Gorgeous flowers from Hadar

Gorgeous flowers from Hadar

A visit from cuzzie David

A visit from cuzzie David

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Great lunch with David, Renee, Chad and Frankie

Great lunch with David, Renee, Chad and Frankie

It’s been a week of blessings from friends and family. Awesome support via cards, gifts, flowers, calls, texts and visits. Baby L is definitely the talk of our world and we appreciate all the love and well-wishes.

So many are anxiously awaiting this little person, including big brother Frankie. He’s a smart dog, but the way he’s acting indicates he really know something more is in store for him. He’s extra focused on me and seeking lots of love. Happy to oblige!

Big Brother, patiently waiting

Big Brother, patiently waiting

Week 38 WODs: Another killer week: feeling great, lifting heavy, and having a ton of energy.

Lovin from Hadar and Kim

Lovin from Hadar and Kim

The ever awesome (and patient!) Coach Melissa

The ever awesome (and patient!) Coach Melissa

Monday, April 14: warm up

strength: front squat 10-8-6-4-2. Worked to 145# (probably another PR)

metcon: 14 min amrap: 4 rounds + 100m row

  • 100m row
  • 10 slam balls (25/15)
  • 10 air squats
  • 10 push press (65#)

Tuesday, April 15: warm up

Strength: Bench press was programmed, but not recommended for preggers. I did shoulders to overhead from the back 5×2. Got to 95#x1 (probably another PR).

Metcon: 14 min amrap: 6 rounds

  • 8 deadlifts (215/135) I did 125#
  • 6 chest to bar pull ups. I did ring rows
  • 15 air squats

That night, full moon hike. ~3.5 miles. Heart rate spiked climbing up. Could definitely feel the morning of deadlifts in my back on the incline, too! Took many breaks.

Thursday, April 17 warm up: 200m run

skill: tabata row (got to 615m), bar hang (could only hang 13 of the 20 seconds), med ball cleans (14#, 33 reps)

Tabata explanation from crossfit.com: For 20 seconds, do as many reps of assigned exercise, then rest 10 seconds. Repeat seven times for a total of eight intervals. Translates to four minutes of total exercise.

metcon: 11+4 push jerks

Push Press

Push Press

  • 6 min amrap
  • 4 push press (135/95) 75#
  • 6 burpee pull ups ring rows
  • 2 min rest
  • 6 min amrap
  • 4 push jerk (135/95) 75#
  • 6 burpee pull ups ring rows

Friday, April 18 warm up: 200m run

metcon: “Dirty 30”: 22:50

  • 30 box jumps (24/20) / step ups 20″
  • 30 jumping pull ups / ring rows
  • 30 kettle bell swings (35/25)
  • 30 walking lunges
  • 30 knees to elbows
  • 30 push press (45/35)
  • 30 good mornings (45/35)
  • 30 wall balls (20/14)
  • 30 burpees / on wall
  • 30 double unders / 90 singles

Food: paleo and ice! and ice cream. It’s so stinking hot already in the Valley, that ice and ice cream offer sweet relief!

Pregnancy Week 37

I was a machine this week. It’s as though my body knows it’s preparing for a WOD of a lifetime. I’m in total training mode – mentally and physically.

I have gotten plenty of sleep. I am eating super healthy/paleo. I’m continuing to rock the whiteboard. It’s pretty freakish seeing some of the scores I posted this week. More on that in a bit … as for the week …

We had our weekly doctor check-in on Tuesday. Since I dropped dramatically in Week 36 and I had two friends deliver two weeks early, I was positive I would be well on my way to dilation. WRONG. I’m barely at one centimeter.

I got over it quickly, realizing this actually set my mind at ease and I wasn’t about to deliver any second. I still need to put my feet up mid-afternoon, but I could focus my energy on finishing my last full week of work and spending quality time with my boys and friends.

Afternoon snooze with pooch

Afternoon snooze with pooch

On Monday, I picked up the stroller from REI. How awesome is this? The bike department put it together for me! Saved us such a headache. Thanks REI! On Thursday, we took advantage of the Phoenix Fire Department‘s awesome car seat installation service. I highly recommend seeking out similar assistance from wherever you purchase and/or live. Friday, we drove to the hospital during rush hour to test a route and see how long it took. Just another way to put our minds at ease and do our best to prepare.

Stroller is ready!

Stroller is ready!

Big brother is ready!

Big brother is ready!

Pooch enjoying the dry run drive to the hospital

Pooch enjoying the dry run drive to the hospital

Saturday was devoted to my girlfriends and it was glorious. We met at a local trail for a moderate 3.5 mile hike. Sweating on the mountain was the perfect way to start the day. That afternoon, we ventured to a local, swanky resort for pool and lounging time. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was such a nice, casual day focused on good friends and laughter. We all got plenty of sun and enjoyed poolside service all afternoon. The bump is now nice and brown!

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Girls pool day!

Girls pool day!

I feel like I’m accomplishing all the pre-baby suggestions from everything have read. Chad and I had a day of pampering. We’ve splurged on a nice meal and many smaller ones. I read a book. We’ve gotten our financials and legal stuff in order. I’ve enjoyed a pedicure. We’ve spent quality time with friends. We purged and organized. We packed the overnight bag. We have slept. We updated our CPR certs. We have gone to mass often. I feel really good and will reflect on this time knowing we were well prepared physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Week 37 WODs:

April 7 warm up: 250m row

strength: overhead squats 20-15-10-5; ended on 90#

metcon: 12 min amrap: 6+18; heart rate got to 167

  • 6 hang cleans (135/95) I did 75#
  • 6 box jumps (30/24) I did 20″ step ups
  • 6 wall walks I did shoulder work with 5# plates 3 moves 6 times each

April 8 warm up

Wedding week front squat with Kel

Wedding week front squat with Kel – 115#

IMG_5069

37 week front squat 135#

37 week front squat 135#

37 week front squat - 135#

37 week front squat – 135#

strength: front squat, find 3 rep max. Sara and I got to 135#. Looking back in my journal, the last time I did front squat, 3 rep max was the week of my wedding with my bridesmaid Kelly. I lifted 115# on June 6. This week, I posted one of the highest scores on the whiteboard, despite having 30 extra pounds and a kiddo in the way. Like I said earlier, freakish!

Whiteboard freak!

Whiteboard freak!

metcon: 4 rounds for time (I did 2 rounds): 13:24

  • 200m run
  • 10 snatch balance (95/65) I did front rack lunges 45#
  • 200m run
  • 15 ring dips

That evening, I did a 2.5 mile walk with the hubs and pooch.

April 9 warm up

175# deadlift

175# deadlift

strength: deadlift x3. Worked to 175# with Sara

metcon: KAREN: 150 wall balls (20# ball) for time. Coach Melissa put a 10 minute time cap on it. I used a 14# ball and got 106 reps in 10 minutes. I really wanted to get to the 150 in 10 min., but had to keep breaking because my heart rate was going above 170.

April 10 warm up

strength: strict press/push press/push jerk 4×6 Got to 85#; strict became impossible around 75# because I was sacrificing form with my bump. Lifted with a visiting guest from CrossFit North Atlanta.

metcon: 21-15-9 completed in 13:10

  • chest to bar pull ups I did ring rows
  • power cleans (135/95) I lifted 65#
  • slam balls (25/15)

April 11 Girls hike. 3.5 miles in 40 minutes with Hadar, Sara and Frankie

At the top!

At the top!

Food: biggest craving continues to be ice. A woman at an ice/water shop (it’s a thing in the Valley) told me it’s common in pregnant women and typically due to anemia. Interesting!

Athlete Profile: Mia Volk

When I first started crossfitandpregnant.com, not only did I want to share my story of CrossFitting through pregnancy, and document the highs and lows, but I also wanted to share the stories of other athletes. Since there is little research on the subject and we all receive different feedback, support and inspiration, I think it is important to create a collaborative community.

This week, I am excited to feature my first athlete who found crossfitandpregnant.com thanks to Google searches. Mia and I have never met or worked out together, but her passion and energy for fitness shines through her interview. I’m honored to feature her this week.

Meet Mia Volk

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Mia, pre-pregnancy

Mia, pre-pregnancy

Mia Volk began CrossFitting in 2010 in Santa Clara, Calif at NorCal CrossFit, FKA Santa Clara CrossFit. Prior to her CrossFit introduction, she was a regular gym rat, spending 3+ hours, but never fully exhausting herself. Seeking a challenge and change, a friend introduced her to the sport we all love, CrossFit. Like many Californians, she loves living an active lifestyle; in addition to CrossFit, she road cycles, backpacks and participates in partial marathons.

“CrossFit supports all my passions,” Mia says. “I love the community and the exhausted state I leave after just an hour.”

Now a member of Aloha CrossFit of Maui, Mia has found strength in her pregnancy. At 29 weeks, she has learned the necessary modifications she needs to make and still challenges herself with the amount of weight and times she posts on the whiteboard.

“Pregnancy is not a handicap,” Mia says. “I can do almost everything the next person can do. The intensity of workout provides amazing benefits for my baby and me.”

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Working hard!

Working hard!

Mia has continued her CrossFit, paleo and juicing lifestyle with the support of her husband and others from her box. She’s looking forward to setting an example for her baby and appreciates the opportunity to encourage other women who are pregnant to remain active.

Mia with her hubs

Mia with her hubs

Just the type of woman we love at crossfitandpregnant.com!

More on Mia:

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: To maintain good health for myself and my baby. I want to be fit and active, especially to influence Noah, so that he learns to be just as active as his parents.

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it? My doctor advised to continue my regular exercise routine and listen to my body when I need rest; I have been following her advice. I have a rest day about once a week.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support? My husband is beyond supportive in everything I do, especially CrossFit; he is my best friend! My husband, only a few friends (many worry) and my CrossFit family were my only support until I found crossfitandpregnant.com.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration? My inspiration is my unborn baby and future children. I look forward to teaching them to care for their body and to use it to experience CrossFit and other outdoorsy activities. CrossFit has taught and instilled an unfamiliar level of self-discipline and teamwork, which I know will benefit my children through my example. Several moms I know jumped right back into CrossFit after pregnancy and are stronger than ever; they inspire me.

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Working hard outside of the box

Working hard outside of the box

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: Even though I am not attempting to lift heavier weights, I realize that I am; the heavier weight is from the growth of my baby. Every week, the movements get tougher because my baby’s weight is increasing. I am struggling daily to keep up with my consistent weight increase.

Lifting heavy!

Lifting heavy!

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? Before I was pregnant, I was following the Paleolithic diet 95% of the time and I juiced daily. Now, I am about 90% paleo because I periodically throw in some sprouted grains.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: Push through the laziness. Avoid skipping a WOD because by the end of warm-up, I am always ready to WOD and grateful I did.

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?: I feel better about myself and I am encouraging other women to maintain their health when they decide to become pregnant.

Favorite quote: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. -Colossians 3:23

Favorite girl WOD: Linda

Three words that describe me: motivated, excited & teachable

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Love the bump!

Love the bump!

 

Pregnancy: Week 35

35 weeks in the box

35 weeks in the box

Ahhhh…homeward stretch! This week, we made it to 30 days from our anticipated due date. Pretty darn crazy.

We’ve been working on the house; I guess in some circles this is considered nesting. We’ve been eliminating, organizing, consolidating – and it feels damn good. I’m definitely more on the organized minimalist side and a good dose of spring cleaning always puts me in good spirits.

All the elimination has also provided plenty of space to organize Baby L’s collection. Our friends and family have been so generous that there isn’t much left for us to buy. So, a huge public THANK YOU!

We did venture into the overwhelmingly large Buy Buy Baby this week to test “drive” strollers and car seats. Holy moly is that store full floor to ceiling! I am so thankful we didn’t start our registry there; I’m afraid I would have taken one look at all the stuff and turned to run. Registering for the baby was difficult to begin with; I can’t imagine dealing with the over abundance of options in Buy Buy Baby to put an actual registry together. For those curious, we registered on Amazon, which offers a super, user-friendly guide to walk new parents through the basics, and Target for ease in our daily lives.

My husband, being the savvy online shopper that he is, found our stroller (BOB Sport), car seat base and adapter through REI at $100 less than Buy Buy Baby with the same 20% discount + free shipping (score!). I have a feeling it’s going to feel much more real seeing those contraptions put together in our house.

While on the subject of registering, I had a revelation this week. So many people are surprised we haven’t found out Baby L’s sex. Going to baby prep classes, we’ve learned we’re in the minority because everyone wants to be able to “plan” and “have control.” However, what I’ve found is that it’s given us more control – we have received almost 80% of what we registered for in the colors we like (green, yellow, gray). I having a feeling many people who announce gender automatically get all pink or blue, but that’s just not our thing. And I love the way Baby L’s space has come together – focused on our colors and theme (dogs!). So, for those of you out there thinking you lose control and the ability to plan, think again!

The other fun project I tackled this week is a wreath for the front door. I wanted it to be spring-time/Easter focused, but the one I loved on good old Pinterest didn’t come with instructions and I was struggling to find coral colored felt in the local craft stores.

Spring rabbit wreath ... without Pinterest instruction

Spring rabbit wreath … without Pinterest instruction

So, I created one in Baby L’s colors (mustard and gray). The most difficult and time consuming part was wrapping the foam wreath with yarn. I loved making all the felt flowers (based on tips from Paper & Stitch) and took three nights to make them. Three nights because I just kept adding to it. I’d hang it on the door and mull over it; add more. I think it turned out pretty perfect!

Our front door is ready for Baby L!

Our front door is ready for Baby L!

Wreath close-up

Wreath close-up

Leslie was fired up last week about the way my nurse practitioner responded to my breast reduction. She reached out to a Facebook mommy group and was directed to a website dedicated to women who have had reductions – Breastfeeding After Reduction. I haven’t spent a lot of time on there yet, but love Leslie’s passion and appreciate her doing some legwork for me!

The other thing I’m strongly considering to help with milk production and overall postpartum recovery is placenta encapsulation. I’ve had a few friends reap the benefits of this and I figure that it can’t hurt! I’m now seeking someone in the Valley that’s reasonably priced and convenient. Recommendations welcome! And if you’ve had any experience with this, would love your input.

Week 35 WODs:

Wednesday, March 26:

warm up

Strength: Overhead squats 6×3 Sara and I got to 90#

35 weeks overhead (3) 35 weeks overhead (2)

35 weeks, overhead squats, 90#

35 weeks, overhead squats, 90#

Metcon: we did a modified Nancy – 5 rounds for time of

  • 15 over head squats at half of what we lifted in strength portion (45#)
  • 250m row

It was a chest burner! I finished in 18:22.

Saturday, March 29: I dedicated this pregnancy version of the CrossFit Games Open 14.5 to Doyle, who we lost a year ago today. It was a tragic loss for my entire family and a day doesn’t go by where I don’t think of him or one of his funny sayings/words of wisdom. Never in my life have I met someone more selfless or stoic.

With Mimi & Doyle - July 4th - 2012

With Mimi & Doyle – July 4th – 2012

During his funeral, the first reading was from the Book of Micah:

Micah 6:8

Micah 6:8

Since then, that verse has become the Team Leatherman family creed.

Even a modified version of 14.5 was a chest burner and exceptionally grueling. I powered through in honor, ending my rounds at 9:45, with Micah 6:8 on repeat.

CrossFit Open 14.5

CrossFit Open 14.5

I did 21-15-9-3 thrusters at 65# and step-ups instead of burpees (my belly is too big at this point and I tend to slam myself down during burpees anyway). My heart rate almost got to 170, so I had to take a few water breaks to trim it back, but felt good finishing!

35 weeks 14 (2)

Crossfitandpregnant version of 14.5

Crossfitandpregnant version of 14.5

Coach Melissa determined the modifications and got both Sara and me through it.

Meghan and Sara with Coach Melissa!

Meghan and Sara with Coach Melissa!

Food: I’m craving iced tea, which is unusual for me outside pregnancy. I’m still drinking coffee and I love a nightly ginger ale. Ice is also a weird craving. I love all my drinks to be overflowing with ice. Totally random. Food has been fairly paleo. We’ve been starting our day with a fruit & greens smoothie, ever since our San Diego trip. I’m at the point now that if I don’t have one, it effects the rest of my day’s energy and focus. I do eat Greek yogurt and still love ice cream (but that’s definitely always a craving, pregnancy or not!). I’m not trying to be strict paleo or beat myself up over anything. Just focused on 7-8 servings of fruits and veggies with good doses of protein.

Feeling: My hips are definitely expanding and are tight. The extra weight can be felt if I have to stand for any length of time. The weekly visits to the chiropractor is definitely relieving a lot of my discomfort. It gets to a point where I can tell I haven’t been in a week to see her. The heat ultrasound she gives me on my shoulder blades reduces a lot of inflammation and pain. Don’t know what I’d do without her!

 

Pregnancy: Week 34

34 weeks with my fellas. Camelback Mountain summit

34 weeks with my fellas. Camelback Mountain summit

We kicked off the week in the most glorious fashion I know – poolside with a (virgin) drink in hand. Sunday was spent pool lounging with our guests. We went to the hotel where we had our wedding reception, knowing it would be quiet and luxurious and that’s exactly what we got. It was a nice, hot Phoenix day, so the pool felt refreshing and time in the shade was even welcomed. Needless to say, the baby belly is nice and brown.

Perfection

Perfection

Monday was my favorite day on the calendar, St. Patrick’s Day (and, yes, also my birthday). It’s been my goal during pregnancy to climb Camelback Mountain. We haven’t done that hike since the first year we dated and I figured it was a great challenge with 30+ pounds on my frame. We convinced our house guests it was worth an early wake-up to beat the crowds and heat.

With lightweight clothing and plenty of water, we were on the trailhead by 7:15 a.m. and began our ascend. Since we had pooch with us, we were forced to take the Cholla Trail, instead of the recently re-opened Echo Canyon Trail. The hubs and Kenny did Cholla Trail last June during our wedding week, but it was new for Jenny and me. This would also be Frankie’s first trek on the infamous Camelback. The summit of Camelback Mountain is 2,704 feet above sea level. The mountain’s two summit trails gain approximately 1,200 feet in elevation. Definitely no small hill!

The trek took us just under three hours and a total of 3.85 miles. The ascend was definitely the toughest – especially with some of the tight crevices and rocks we had to scale. Pooch was a trooper and there was only one real challenge getting him through a tight spot. All in all, it was an awesome feeling to get to the top. On the way down, icing on the cake when a few college girls in their lulu’s and sportsbars with tight tummys said, “check out that bad ass pregnant lady,” as I passed by them. Yep, ladies, that’s right, watch and learn!

Taking in the scenery on the upward climb

Taking in the scenery on the upward climb

Water break for pooch

Water break for pooch

34 weeks preggers on Cholla Trail

34 weeks preggers on Cholla Trail

Pooch, happy to be hiking

Pooch, happy to be hiking

We made it!

We made it!

Feeling like a champion

Feeling like a champion

Aunt Jenny and Frankie snooze, post hike

Aunt Jenny and Frankie snooze, post hike

Later that day, we had a doctor’s appointment. Unfortunately, all the doctors were booked so we ended up meeting with a nurse practitioner. This woman had terrible bedside manner. After asking a series of strange questions, she asked if I would be breastfeeding. I explained we’d like to, but that I had a reduction 11 years ago and weren’t sure if I would be able. She made a face. And not just any face – an “ooo that’s bad” face, all scrunched up. Instead of leaving it there, her follow-up question was, “Did they have to reconstruct the nipples?” I said, “well, yes, it was an extensive reconstruction.” And again with the face coupled with a “oh that’s not good; it’s going to be really difficult.” Well, no sh*t, Sherlock. I made that decision 11 years ago well aware of the risks and my husband and I have faced the reality of it long before we ever got pregnant. Not helpful.Sometimes, I don’t know why I even bother answering these dumb questions, knowing it should already be documented in my chart.

So, my advice to any women out there facing something similar, do your best. Rely on your husband and communicate through these outside influences. Accept that you can’t change something you did for yourself and your health, knowing good and well that one risk might be the inability to someday breastfeed. If it happens, great; if it can’t or doesn’t work, move on.

DQ cake. It's a family tradition!

DQ cake. It’s a family tradition!

To celebrate the St. Paddy’s birthday, we hosted a friends for dinner and ice cream cake. As a kid, I was always thrilled to have a Dairy Queen ice cream cake; since I was allergic to milk and milk products, it was a special treat that didn’t set off my asthma. It was the perfect end to an awesome day!

This week also included a St. Norbert College alumnus event hosted by the president and featuring the Knights on Broadway. For anyone in the Green Bay, De Pere, Appleton areas, I highly recommend attending a show. It was a great cabaret performance. We also went to the Kings of Leon concert. The hubs scored great seats. While I sat half of the concert (I’m typically on my feet dancing), it was a great show that featured some of our favorite KOL hits.

Knights on Broadway, performing in Arizona

Knights on Broadway, performing in Arizona

Ready for Kings of Leon

Ready for Kings of Leon

We capped off the week at a dinner with some of my cousins who spent their spring break in Scottsdale. It was a great evening catching up. Then the weekend was spent spring cleaning to prepare organizing all of Baby L’s gear! Quite a busy, fun, successful week.

Week 34 WODs:

Monday, March 17: Hike Camelback Mountain. 2:55; 3.85 mi

Wednesday, March 19: Three mile walk with pooch on the canal

Thursday, March 20:

warm up

metcon: 7 rounds, 40 min timecap

  • 7 power cleans (135/95; I did 65#)
  • 6 hand stand push ups (I modified on box)
  • 5 burpees (I modified on wall)
  • 4 front squats (135/95; I did 65#)
  • 3 muscle ups (9 pull ups + 9 ring dips = 3 muscle ups)
  • 200m run (I rowed)
  • 1 handstand walk across gym (I attempted a bear crawl modification, but failed; I dropped this all together after that).

I did 5 rounds in 28:30. My heart rate was really escalating, so I thought I would cap at 5 and focus on cheering on everyone else.

Friday, March 21

warm up CFx3 (10 air squats, 10 sit ups or toes to bar, 10 pull ups, 10 push ups)

strength: Deadlift 10×6. I got to 155

metcon: 10min amrap

  • 20 air squats
  • 20 sit ups (I did on a bench)
  • 20 push ups

I got 3+40. So, I know I shouldn’t compare myself, especially during my pregnancy and I know everyone walks into the box at different places, but I was pretty damn excited that I got the same number of rounds + reps as a guy after lifting 10# more than him in the deadlift/strength portion.

155# x 10 at 34 weeks pregnant

155# x 10 at 34 weeks pregnant

Prescott Hotshot 19 twinsies!

Prescott Hotshot 19 twinsies!

Athlete Profile: Sara Hillman

Sara and I met through our Phoenix affiliate. She has been a member of Back Alley CrossFit since it’s garage days and watched it evolve into the mid-size affiliate it is today. She was one of the first people to make me feel welcome and at home. Since then our friendship has forged and she’s become my CrossFit preggers partner in crime!

Due August 2014, Sara experience a rocky start to her first pregnancy. Luckily, the bleeding stopped after close monitoring and lots of rest. Once she was given the go-ahead, this momma-to-be has been all CrossFit focused!

Her story:

It was August 2012. Belleville, Ill. native Sara HIllman was three months from her wedding in Phoenix, Ariz., and needed something that was going to take her workout routine to the next level. That summer, she had been observing “these CRAZY people running by her house in the Arizona heat, pulling fire hoses and flipping tires.” Needless to say, curiosity got the best of her. She worked up the courage to ask how to join. “Well, technically, I made Aaron (my fiancé at the time) stick a very professional letter with my resume attached in the mailbox politely asking if I could start working out with them.” Classic Sara move.

She was addicted from the beginning. “I have never had workout routine that has been so consistent and natural for me. I grew up a competitive gymnast so some components of CrossFit come easy,” Sara said. “The parts that do not come easy I like the challenge and I like seeing the progress in ability. I know that I perform better with others around me and a coach to hold me accountable.”

Naturally, she looked fab for her wedding:

Sara's wedding day

Sara’s wedding day
©2012 Chadwick Fowler

Fast forward a few years and Sara and Aaron are excited to welcome their first baby. CrossFitting during her pregnancy has helped her maintain her sanity. Almost 20 weeks in and finally in her second trimester, she meets monthly with a nutritionist, thanks to a program at work. During the last year, Sara was able to establish a pre-pregnancy baseline for her body composition. At this point in her pregnancy she has gained 9 lbs and five of those are lean muscle mass.

Hillmans announce their expected babe in Key West

Hillmans announce their expected babe in Key West

In addition to proven results on the scale, Sara has continued to pr, she’s participating in The Open, and she receives tremendous support from Aaron, her coworkers and fellow CrossFitters. When she feels discouraged or overwhelmed, “…all I have to do is look around me for inspiration and reminders of how blessed and privileged I am.”

Hubby Aaron watches as Sara competes in 14.1.

Hubby Aaron watches as Sara competes in 14.1.

She chuckles when she thinks of some older women coworkers who insist she shouldn’t lift a box recommend she lighten her purse + work bag. “I think in the back of my mind…. If you only knew what I do at CrossFit.”

“NEWS FLASH: I am not the first person to have a baby. Our grandparents and parents did this before the Internet and self-help books,” said Sara. “A woman I work with was one of 15 kids raised on a farm in rural Minnesota. I  think about what her mother went through raising children without all of today’s conveniences and I am truly inspired by her heartiness. Every person here on earth had a pregnant mother and I think if they can do it, I can do it.”

Right on, Sara. Right on!

Backsquat

Backsquat

More on Sara:

Other exercise practices: Yoga, Pilates, running

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: My goal is to keep my sanity, keep my muscles, and not become as big as a house! Most importantly I hope that I am creating an environment for me and my baby that will results in a healthier pregnancy, an easier delivery, a speedy postpartum recovery, and a baby that loves to exercise. There are numerous benefits to early motor development for children and active lifestyles, my goal is to create that for my baby. I used to teach a mommy and me gymnastic class for babies ranging from six weeks to three months.

Finding CrossFit and Back Alley has allowed me to stay committed to my goals and to an exercise routine while thoroughly enjoying the people and the shenanigans that go on at the gym. I have gone through phases when I lived more of a sedentary lifestyle. I hope to never go back to that. When my alarm goes off in the morning I have that internal battle … ‘you are pregnant you need to sleep but then I remind myself that I don’t know what the future will bring, how I will feel, how my baby will be doing so I drag myself out of bed.’

Early morn split jerks are good for the soul

Early morn split jerks are good for the soul

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it?: I had an inconvenient first trimester. Nothing crazy or scary just a reminder that I cannot control everything. I was not getting to the box and my diet was anything that had carbs and cheese. My doctor has said a few things that has helped keep things in perspective: “Honey, you are pregnant during flu season there will be vomit.,” and “Sometimes it does not matter how much we are working out it’s our diet that will determine our results.” These tips have stuck with me.

I work with three Family Medicine Doctors at the University of Arizona College of Medicine–Phoenix. They know more about me and my CrossFit lifestyle than my OB would ever know. They have truly supported me and encouraged me to continue CrossFitting while pregnant. They are constantly asking me for updates and checking in on my progress in pregnancy and at CrossFit. The best part is they have all worked very closely with my OB office through residency or their own pregnancies. The attention and advice they have given me is priceless.

Don't drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

Don’t drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration?: YOU [CrossFit and Pregnant’s Meghan Leatherman].I cannot imagine trying to navigate through all of this without you forging the path before me in the box.

I also really don’t know what CrossFitting while pregnant would be like without Coach Melissa. She helps me modify as need be and at the same time she does not let me off the hook easy. She has a true talent for coaching with compassion and heart. Sometimes I think she knows my limits more than I do.

Setting 14.1 strategy with Coach Melissa

Setting 14.1 strategy with Coach Melissa

14.1 in action with Melissa and Aaron cheering and coaching her on.

14.1 in action with Melissa and Aaron cheering and coaching her on.

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned I am learning: The human body is truly amazing. It is such a blessing to be pregnant, healthy, and able to continue working out in a way that brings me such emotional and physically satisfaction. I am learning that my body is going to change and my never be the same but that will be OK because I will be a mother and I will continue to CrossFit when I feel good.

Nice deadlift!

Nice deadlift!

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: To quit comparing myself to others. Every person is different, every pregnancy is different, and every workout is different. I am currently in last place in amongst Back Alley for The Open. It is hard to be OK with that.

Sara working hard early in her preg

Sara working hard early in her pregnancy

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle?: Clean with a side of carbs and cheese. I have always preferred a more natural/ organic approach to eating. I grew up in the Midwest with a huge garden and a father that killed most of our dinner options. We had elk for dinner the other night and I have been searching for a butcher that sells game ever since. You can taste the difference in real food especially when you can pronounce all of the ingredients.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: My boss told me, “If you feel good, your baby feels good.” It seems so simple, but so perfect. There are so many warnings; don’t let your heart rate go over 140, don’t squat below 90 degrees, lifting your arms above your head will cause a miscarriage, don’t eat turkey, etc., but all that matters is that I am listening to my body and I (we) feel good.

Favorite quote: This one is from my wonderful Aunt Debbie…

NO CHILD OF MINE

No child of mine, I used to cry

Before the stork had fluttered by,

Will ever throw a temper fit,

Or bite or scratch or whine or hit.

Or wear a diaper ‘til he’s three,

Or sit for hours and watch TV.

Or dawdle so he makes me late,

Or leave his spinach on the plate.

Or act, in short, like other kids,

Who’ve made their parents flip their lids.

But, with the patter of baby feet

Are forty million words to eat.

-Betty Billup

 Favorite girl WOD: Fran

Three words that describe me: Animated, Loyal, Devoted

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: Probably doing a home renovation project.

Don't get in this momma-to-be's way!

Don’t get in this momma-to-be’s way!

Pregnancy: Week 33

14.3 going down

14.3 going down

During the week, there was little focus on CrossFit, but a ton of focus on fun and good food!

Momma and Frankie scrunched in like sardines

Momma and Frankie scrunched in like sardines

Sending momma on her way

Sending momma on her way

We returned to the Valley on Sunday and enjoyed the final 48 hours with my mom. She was able to enjoy the sun and help us with some baby prep tasks. She took off Tuesday afternoon and that evening, we welcomed some of our favorite friends, who were escaping the Wisconsin snow for sunshine.

Aunts Kenny & Jenny watch us during 14.3

Aunts Kenny & Jenny watch us during 14.3

Their arrival prompted me to do some good, mostly paleo, meal planning. For the mornings, I baked paleo banana bread, a veggie-filled quiche, fresh-squeezed orange juice and then made daily veggie and fruit based shakes to get our day started clean.

Since it’s prime grilling season, dinners included tri tip with spinach salad and green beans, BBQ chicken with grilled asparagus and wild rice with mushrooms, and cheeseburgers with tomato salad. Makes my mouth water for more!

The nights were late and filled with talking and laughing, which didn’t really promote early WODs. I haven’t struck a great balance between getting enough sleep and my workout availability throughout my pregnancy. That and food quality/weight gain are my two greatest take-aways. I would like to take what I’ve learned this time and focus more time and energy the next pregnancy on strict-paleo and a rigid workout schedule.

Besides our awesome house guests, the hubs and I took spent some quality time together at our church on Friday night. Every Friday during Lent our parish hosts an incredible fish fry. While not paleo, it’s a fun, inexpensive meal that provides us an opportunity for fellowship.We enjoyed it so much last year and are so glad to have another year to participate.

Most recently, the church has also launched a monthly date night for engaged and married couples. We attended last month and loved it, so we attended again Friday night. It’s the perfect time to help us focus on our Trinity – God + us. This Friday, in particular, the discussion was based on trials and tribulations couples face and how to handle the decision making process. To kick-off the discussion, we attended the Stations of the Cross as a group to help focus on self-sacrifice and the need for community during tough times. Since we’ve faced a number of complicated decisions already in our short marriage, the topic was timely and useful.

We have started to build my “push playlist.” It includes everything from Lady Gaga + R. Kelly’s “Do What You Want” to REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It.” Looking for recommendations on songs to include. I’m approaching this like I would a WOD – intense and focused – so anything with a strong, aggressive beat is perfect. Suggestions?

Week 33 WOD:

CrossFit Open 14.3. As I previously mentioned, I didn’t register for the Open and I don’t regret that decision. However, when this WOD was announced, I knew it was my wheelhouse and Coach Melissa confirmed that.

WOMEN – includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
95-lb. deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
135-lb. deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
155-lb. deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
185-lb. deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
205-lb. deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
225-lb. deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch

My score: 77. Had I not stopped to put on my 33 week sticker mid-WOD, I probably would have made it to the next round of deadlifts (185#).

For those concerned about me lifting, deadlifts are one of the olympic lifts I excel in and I had Melissa by my side coaching me through breathing, reps, and breaks. I also always wear my heart rate monitor to ensure I keep it at a steady rate; for this WOD it was between 160-165, my average for WODs. And, I haven’t jumped on boxes since the start of my pregnancy for fear of falling. I simply step up (which is recommended by many coaches/doctors for any general athlete to save on the hips and Achilles).

Melissa talking me through strategy

Melissa talking me through strategy

33 weeks

33 weeks

All smiles

All smiles

Melissa & crew coaching me on

Melissa & crew coaching me on
The hubs killed it

The hubs killed it