I’m not pregnant anymore! If you have followed me on my pregnancy journey so far, you know it felt like it would never end. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can catch up by reading my previous blog posts, The Miracle & Misery of Pregnancy and Hello, Third Trimester! It was a rough 8 months to say the least. (I also later wrote a more comprehensive piece, To Hell & Back, going into more detail about my pregnancy and struggles with hyperemesis gravidarum.)
Baby Sawyer was born about 3.5 weeks early at 5lbs. 15oz. Here are the deets of his birth story:
I went to bed on Tuesday night (technically Wednesday morning) at 2am. I was a bit crampy, but I had been doing that on and off for a couple of months, so I didn’t think anything about it. However, the crampiness intensified while I was sleeping, and it woke me up at 4am. Within the hour the crampiness became less of a general cramp and developed more of a pattern. Around 8 or 8:30am I woke Kyle up and told him we should start getting things ready for the hospital. I also took the last photo in my pregnancy progression that morning because I knew if this was the real deal, I wouldn’t have another opportunity.
We arrived to the hospital around 10:30am on Wednesday, September 27th. When my cervix was checked, it was 3cm, and the monitor showed contractions. The nurse told me to walk around the hospital for an hour and come back. If I progressed more, that would mean I was in active labor, and I could stay. After an hour of walking, I was checked again and at 4cm, so they gave me a room. It seemed like labor was progressing pretty quickly, and because I was pre-term it was protocol that I be given an IV drip of antibiotics, so there was a slight rush to make sure I received them. When I was checked around 12:30pm I was somewhere around 4.5-5cm. But for some reason I stayed stuck there for hours and hours! I continued to have contractions, and the nurses would come to check my cervix every couple of hours, but it never changed. The doctor couldn’t do anything to induce or speed the process along because I was preterm. My body would have to do it on it’s own if it were truly the time for the baby to come. By that night I was exhausted! Remember, I had only slept 2 hours the night before. So I agreed to some pain medication via the IV, which knocked me out for a couple of hours. The cat nap was fantastic, however the meds caused my contractions to nearly stop. They went from being about 3 minutes apart to 9 minutes apart, and they became so weak that I could sleep through them. The pain relief was great, but I also knew it only meant that the process was only going to be stretched out longer.
At 6am Thursday morning, I still hadn’t progressed any, and it had been 17-some hours since the check that showed 5cm! So once again I set out to walk the halls. Within minutes of walking the contractions kicked back up in intensity and became closer together again. Around 9am the doctor came in and checked me. Since I had progressed to 7cm, he agreed to break my water. Almost instantly the contractions kicked into HIGH GEAR. But the baby was still positioned high, so they didn’t want to give me an epidural until he came down a bit more, and I was a little closer to giving birth. 9am-11:30am was horrible! In desperation I agreed to more pain medication in my IV, though if I could do it over, I would do without it. Everyone responds to medications differently, but my personal experience with it was that it made me feel dizzy and heavy, but didn’t dull the pain any. I was still fully aware of the painful sensations I was experiencing, but just had a heavy head and spinning sensation–it was a sort of drunk feeling, and I didn’t like not being able to articulate things very well. And again this is just me personally, but I would have been better off coping through the pain if I had been able to be fully “there” instead of laying still in my bed with my head spinning. In my head it felt like I was being a huge baby coping through the contractions, but everyone in the room with me said I did very well and didn’t make any noise except to moan through the contractions. I’m glad we video recorded everything because honestly it is so fuzzy to me now, and I can barely remember.
At 11am I was allowed to get my epidural, but it took quite awhile to place (30 minutes, which doesn’t sound horrible, but when you are hunched over into a ball and not allowed to move while having contractions every couple minutes, it’s eternity. That portion was the hardest part of my labor by far.). At first it wasn’t in the right location, and then once the right spot was pegged down, I could still feel the peaks of the contractions. So the anesthesiologist added a second medication (it’s what they give you if you have a c-section) to the IV. I was 9cm dilated by the time the epidural started working. They like you to be able to feel pressure, and not the actual contractions, but by the time it took full affect, I couldn’t feel anything! You could have sawed my legs off, and I wouldn’t have known lol! I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to push correctly, but I did fine in that area. I honestly thought I would have to push for a much longer period than I had to. I did some practice pushes with the nurse, and then once the doctor was called in, I only pushed a couple more times and he was here at 2:27pm!
Recovery was luckily a breeze for me. The doctor informed me I didn’t even have a scratch “down there”. So with no tears or stitches, I didn’t have the typical postpartum discomforts of going to the bathroom or walking. I felt like a million bucks actually, especially in comparison to how I felt pregnant. My SPD pain went away the moment he popped out. And other than having to stay one extra day for jaundice light therapy, Sawyer was perfectly healthy too. I also just want to say that my nurse, Marilyn, was incredible, and I can’t imagine going through child birth without her.
Checkout the birth video below!
Month 1 9.28.17-10.27.17
- At 2.5 weeks postpartum, I developed mastitis. It came on suddenly–I actually passed out and threw up on the floor at home, which prompted a visit to the ER. I was given antibiotics there, but ended up being resistant to them. Two days later I ended up back in the ER in much worse condition, at which point I was admitted to the hospital for a few days.
- Sawyer was exclusively breastfeeding with the help of a nipple shield.
- As I was recovering from the mastitis, Sawyer developed awful colic. We tried a combination of gripe water, probiotics, the chiropractor, a baltic amber bracelet, and some energy work with a healer. I am a fan of all of these approaches, but I fully believe it was the healer that made the difference in his colic. It was instantaneous and never came back.
- Upon returning home, 3 days after giving birth, I had lost 11lbs.
- I started working out around 3 weeks postpartum, doing yoga.
- I lost approximately 22lbs. total during the first month.
Month 2 10.28.17-11.27.17
- Sawyer successively weaned from the nipple shield!
- He received his first vaccinations, though we are on a slightly delayed schedule and spreading them out so that so many aren’t given at a single appointment. It is important to me that his body has time to detox in between vaccinations so that the toxins don’t build up in his body. We discussed the plan with our pediatrician, who feels that our plan is safe since he is a breast fed baby. He will be fully vaccinated and meet the requirements of the state law by the time he starts school.
- He received DTaP, Hib, and IPV (skipped 3) at 2 months old. (Read more about detoxing from vaccines here.)
- I’ve also continued taking him to the chiropractor for adjustments.
- I continued doing yoga and started incorporating some Piyo (Pilates/yoga) towards the end of the second month.
- I lost about 3lbs. during the second month, for a total weight loss of 25lbs. (25lbs. more to go to get to pre-pregnancy weight.)
Month 3 11.28.17-12.27.17
- I never realized breastfeeding would be such an up and down relationship! I started month 3 with Sawyer having just weaned from using the nipple shield and latching on his own. I always thought that one would try to breastfeed following giving birth, it would either work or not work, but you’d know pretty fast–a black and white type situation. I had no idea there was so much gray area when it comes to breastfeeding. Shortly after ditching the shield, my nipples became really sore. I thought initially that they were just adapting, but it got to the point where it felt like pieces of glass coming out–completely unbearable. I went to the doctor, terrified of getting mastitis again, and also to the lactation consultant. I was diagnosed with yeast and given 2 weeks of Diflucan. And I learned from the lactation consultant, that although he was now latching on his own, he had a shallow latch and wasn’t flanging his lips, which could also be causing the pain. So I’ve spent the last month really working with him each time he nurses and manually moving his bottom lip down. But when pain was still persisting even after treating the yeast, and with his latch slowly improving, I started researching and figured out a third issue: Raynaud’s. This is something I’ve already been diagnosed with, as it affects my fingers and toes–but I never had any idea it could affect your nipples as well. My fingers and toes hurt and are much more sensitive in the winter, and when the weather turned really cold that’s also when I started experiencing pain in my nipples . You can visually see the affects as well, as they will literally turn white and purple. BUT I am still holding strong and continuing with breastfeeding! 🙂
- I started doing more intensified workouts, incorporating weights, sit ups, push ups, etc.
- I completed one round of 21 Day Fix followed by a 3 Day Refresh cleanse, losing 8lbs. and toning up quite a bit, despite it being the holiday season! I weighed in the morning following the last day of the cleanse, so I’m expecting that a couple pounds of my total loss this month are “superficial” pounds as a result of just finishing the cleanse. I am finally starting to gain some core strength back. (Total loss: 33lbs./ 17lbs. more to go to get to pre-pregnancy weight.)
Month 4 12.28.17-01.27.18
- I thought I was going to be able to make it a month without any fiascos to report. I almost did, but the last weekend of the month my left breast started hurting. It appeared to be a Montgomery gland that was inflamed. As the weekend progressed I began to develop a hard lump on the areola. At this very moment, it is about the size of a marble and SO painful! (Worse than the pain I had with my mastitis.) It appears to be some type of abscess, and I’ve spent the past several days doing hot and cold compresses, massages, epsom salt water soaks, but it appears to be getting bigger and the pain is making nursing and pumping awful, so I have an appointment at the OBGYN tomorrow afternoon.
- He received DTap, Hib, IPV, and PCV (skipped 1) at 4 months old. (Read more about detoxing from vaccines here.)
- I started a new workout program on the 15th of the month (80 Day Obsession), but I only did 5 or 6 workouts before my body just gave in to total exhaustion. I’m not sure if it’s my hormones trying to balance out or it all just catching up to me finally, but this month I’ve been hit the floor exhausted. Now I’m wondering if it’s related to the mass that’s developed on my breast (some sort of infection my body was trying to fight off maybe?). I decided to not push myself. I continued eating clean, but only worked out a handful of days. I did walk with the baby in the stroller on a few of the warmer days.
- In last month’s entry, I had just finished a 3 day cleanse, and mentioned that I expected a couple of the pounds I lost to be “superficial” as a result of just finishing that cleanse. I did gain a couple of those pounds back following the cleanse, but continued to lose them again plus a couple more throughout the month. I lost 4lbs total this month. (Total loss: 37lbs./ 13lbs. more to go to get to pre-pregnancy weight.)
Month 5 1.28.18-02.27.18
- When I left off last entry, I was going to the doctor regarding a painful, large bump that had developed just barely above my areola. It was an infection, that could go into mastitis if left untreated, so I was given a topical antibiotic ointment. I suppose the ointment was working, but slowly, so I also started using some copaiba essential oil, and it started healing shortly thereafter. No other problems with breastfeeding! With the weather getting a bit warmer, my Raynaud’s pain is much better too.
- Sawyer still doesn’t sleep through the night. He will occasionally sleep one 5-6 hour stretch at night, but it is rare. He almost always wakes every 3-4 hours to nurse, but goes right back down into his swing to sleep. I’ve also seen some improvement in the ease to getting him to sleep at bedtime. Even if I put him down awake, he usually goes to sleep on his own now. Occasionally he will cry and protest, but never for more than 5-10 minutes. His swing, however is the only place he sleeps, so I worry about what’s going to happen when he outgrows it!
- I give Sawyer Vitamin C, Probiotics, and Elderberry each day for healthy maintenance. (Read about how I keep him healthy, here.)
- My energy is slightly better, but maybe that’s because I also quit doing any workout programs?? I’m not ready to jump back into it and start a program, not until I am positive that I will be able to finish it. Half way through the month I decided to start rebounding again, so that at least I would be doing something even if it is low impact. The rebounding also helps me get my step goal each day. I set my step goal to 8,000 steps each day, which is very attainable, but still a goal for me because even with the workouts I was doing, I wasn’t even hitting 4,000 steps most days.
- Since my exercise was slacking this month, I tried some Pruvit Keto drinks for the first time. I did 7 packets, half a pack in the AM and half a pack in the PM. I think I would have to do it for a longer period of time to notice any effects for certain, but I just wanted to disclose that I gave it a little trial this month.
- I feel like I’m ending this month bloated. I’ve wrote in the past about my struggles with candida, and I have an overgrowth once again. I’ve been struggling with it again since ALL of the antibiotics I was put on at the end of my pregnancy/ following his birth. I developed a UTI towards the latter part of my pregnancy which I had to take antibiotics for. They caused the initial yeast infection, which I kept the remainder of my pregnancy because you can’t take Diflucan when you are pregnant. Then because I went into labor preterm, I was given several rounds of antibiotics through an IV as protocol. AND THEN, a couple weeks post birth I developed another UTI and severe mastitis and was given oral antibiotics and spent several days in the hospital getting even more via an IV. MY system was just overloaded with antibiotics and it doesn’t take hardly anything to disrupt my gut flora. So despite my expensive probiotics, boric acid suppositories at night, kombucha drinking, superfood shake, and ACV shots, it just hasn’t been enough to keep the overgrowth from happening. I’ve also been taking higher amounts of vitamin C, and using colloidal silver and coconut oil with essential oils. Oh and I started drinking “mud” again (bentonite clay). Two months ago I was treated with 16 days of 200mg Diflucan. Just for perspective, you are usually given ONE 100mg pill to treat a yeast infection, and I was given 32x this amount! Nothing. At the beginning of this month, another 3 pills of 100mg. Nothing. Earlier this week, I was ready to crawl out of my skin–itching so bad, even inside my ears! I have some grapefruit seed extract and protease digestive enzyme to add to my current regimen, and I have no idea where to turn after this if my home remedies do not work. I may have to go 100% sugar free for a bit. I’m not sure it has ever been this bad before.
- I lost 4lbs total this month. (Total loss: 41lbs./ 9lbs. more to go to get to pre-pregnancy weight.) I don’t see a big difference in my photos this month, as I said I actually feel bloated because of the candida issues. I’m hoping once I get that back under control that my tummy will be much flatter. I am back into at least one pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans, so I am happy about that!
Month 6 2.28.18-03.27.18
- Sawyer laughs at his fur siblings, and loves brushing his teeth in the mirror and playing with the water out of the faucet. He is a pro at navigating his walker and chasing the dogs.
- He received DTap, Hib, and IPV (skipped 4) at 4 months old. (Read more about detoxing from vaccines here.)
- I’ve focused mainly this month on overcoming my candida overgrowth and working with an herbalist to do so. We added a higher dose of probiotics as well as grapefruit seed extract, protease, coconut oil capsules, coconut oil/tea tree suppositories, Pau D’arco tea, and an essential oil roll on blend for my abdomen. I’m feeling a lot better. I am going to continue next month with a candida detox, and hopefully I’ll be good to go from there with just my normal regimen.
- I lost 4.5lbs total this month. (Total loss: 45.5lbs./ 4.5lbs. more to go to get to my pre-pregnancy weight.) My 50lb. pregnancy weight gain happened over the course of 7 months (1 month pregnant to the time I gave birth at 8 months pregnant), and it looks like it is going to take exactly 7 months to lose it all. Except, I think it’s a little unfair to say I have a few more pounds still to go because I think those few pounds are all still in my top half due to still breastfeeding lol! Besides my chest being larger, my hips are still wider, and the skin on my stomach is looser than it used to be prior to pregnancy/birth. But I am okay with all of that, and very proud of my postpartum body. I am glad to be at a healthy weight and BMI again, but my body won’t be the exact same as it was before, especially while I continue to breastfeed. I have noticed the past several months that I have a vertical line below my belly button. I wonder if I could have a mild case of diastasis recti or if this line/ gap will disappear in time or remain part of my “new body”.
Month 7 3.28.18-04.27.18
- Currently his favorite thing is flying in his walker, chasing his puppy dogs, and cackling at them as he does. He’s especially enjoying it this weekend as we are moving and he has so much floor space as the furniture disappears. He also likes “driving” over toes. He is trying to pull up by grabbing furniture, so far he pulls up to his knees and he does mini scoots on his butt to reach things. He had two more teeth pop through this month (that makes 4!). We walk almost every day and he loves his stroller rides. He still nurses 99.9% of the time, but he has tried and likes many of mommy’s favorite foods like avocado, banana, sweet potato, squash, egg yolk, chickpeas, sauerkraut, and meats.
- I am officially my pre-pregnancy weight even though some of my pants are still more snug on me now than they used to be. Like I said, weight aside, it’s just a different body now. I probably won’t update with any more photos of myself, just because there is not much difference to be seen on a month to month basis.
Month 8 4.28.18-05.27.18
- He learned to pull up at the beginning of the month, and a couple weeks later started cruising up and down the length of the couch. He actually started cruising first, and then within a week started to crawl. You can hardly get him to sit or lay down now, he rolls right over and looks for something to pull up on so he can stand. This has been his favorite game to play each night instead of going to sleep.
Month 9 5.28.18-06.27.18
- It’s been quite the month for this little guy. He now regularly waves and babbles bye-bye, da-da, and ma-ma. He figured out how to climb stairs, and he’s trying so hard to walk, but is still cruising and crawling this month. He’s in to everything, and wears his momma out.
- I’ve continued to give Sawyer supplements every day. He currently takes cod liver oil, probiotics, multivitamin, and raw vitamin c, and has since about 4 months old. Except during the winter he took organic elderberry syrup instead of the multivitamin with iron that he takes now. (And we started him on probiotic drops as a newborn. He takes Zarbees probiotics now.) We give him an additional supplement (Vaccishield) the week before and following his vaccines.
- He received some makeup shots at 9 months old–Hep B and PCV. (Read more about detoxing from vaccines here.)
Month 10 6.28.18-07.27.18
- Little Saw is so particular and funny and stubborn and loving and sensitive and studious! He’s not walking yet, but he does take 2-3 unassisted steps just about every day. Waiting for him to take off any day now! He added “hi” and “nana” to his vocabulary this month (that makes 5!), and he recognizes several words like each of the dogs by name, “milk”, “hello” (thinks that’s the phone), “pony” (his rocking horse), and sadly enough, “Alexa”.
Month 11 7.28.18-08.27.18
- He cut another tooth this month (that makes 7!) and we are pretty sure by the way he is gnawing on everything that he’s working on another one towards the back. This month has been really fun because he’s learned to communicate by pointing at what he wants or pointing when we ask “Where’s ____?” His favorite game is to blow into bottles and other containers to make a whistle sound, and he takes turns handing the object over to the other person for them to make the sound too LOL! He’s still dying to walk, but hasn’t taken more than a few unassisted steps at a time. But he crawls so fast, Daddy says it’s like one of those crawling children in those horror movies. Oh and he now makes the same sound I use to tell him “no” back at me when I’m doing something he doesn’t like. Full of spunk, this one!
Month 12 8.28.18-09.27.18
- Wow, ONE year! Sawyer cut his 8th tooth this month, he LOVES books, and anything that has to do with flowers! (He loves pointing at them when he sees them, and he starts sniffing before he’s even close to them lol! He will also find and point to flowers in books and smell them on the page!) Sawyer took his first “legit” steps on his actual birthday at his party.
- I am still breastfeeding, and I plan to continue to do so.
- He received his PVC vaccination at his 12 month appointment, and skipped/delayed the others. The plan is for him to get an Hib vaccine at 15 months, DTap at 18 months, PCV at 24 months, MMR at 3 years old, and then the last 5 vaccines he’ll need (Hep B, DTap, IPV, MMR, and Varicella) spread apart during age 4-6. I do one vaccine per visit.
- I continue to give Sawyer supplements every day. He currently takes cod liver oil, an organic probiotic/ prebiotic blend, a multivitamin with iron, and raw vitamin C. As the colder/”sicker” months approach, we have added Elderberry gummies (I break them into pieces, and find it easier to give him than the syrup like we did last winter). We give him an additional supplement (Vaccishield) the week before and week following his vaccines. He goes every few months to the chiropractor for adjustments, and I have started spraying his feet at night with a magnesium spray as recommended by our chiropractor. (Which I already do this myself, so it is an easy thing to add to our routine.)
- 1 year postpartum, and I am down about 65lbs! I returned home from the hospital 4 days after giving birth, down only 11lbs., and knew I had to do something because the weight gain had been/ was affecting me physically and emotionally.
The VERY day I gave birth, I talked to my coach and signed up for a BOD challenge pack—from my hospital bed 😂. (I’m not a very patient person lol.) Best decision I ever made. And it only cost me $3 a WEEK—undeniably worth it based on these results.
Due to the issues I had during pregnancy, I had lost all my muscle and strength. (That’s why I did physical therapy when pregnant.) I started out with an easy 3 week yoga program. Then once I was cleared at my 6 week PP appointment, I did the 21DF program, following the moderator. I didn’t follow the meal plan, but I did also do 3 Day Refresh. I saw big results from these two things.
I drank my superfood shake, Shakeology, nearly every day as a nutritious snack for several months. I loved that I was providing my baby with a nutritious milk supply of over 70 superfood ingredients.
By 6-7 months postpartum, I was at my pre-pregnancy weight, but my body composition was still not the same. In early summer I completed a nutrition program, 2B Mindset, and really buckled down on my nutrition, learned some awesome recipes that enabled me to eat veggies that weren’t appealing to me before. I started seeing more weight loss and more energy. By late summer I got the C25K app because I decided I wanted to run my first ever 5k. I actually completed the program! This was my THIRD attempt to complete it—the first two times (pre-pregnancy) I quit.
I renewed my BOD membership this year. It’s going to cost me less than $2 a WEEK now. When I say these programs work and that they are for anyone, I’m speaking from experience. Starting out I was in horrible physical condition (overweight, no stamina, no strength). And I was completely drained from my pregnancy. I truly think that if I can do it, anyone can! Talk to me, join my online groups, and let’s continue living healthier together!!