Monthly Archives: February 2015

Well…We Breed Big, Hairy Babies!

My ultrasound scheduled for Thursday was postponed to Friday due to forecasted bad weather in Charlotte.  Yet again the city shut down in anticipation of snowstorm 2015.  It never came.  My husband flew out of town Wednesday night to represent the family at his sister Colleen’s wedding.

photo 2-214This was bittersweet for me.  While I am over the moon about our second child getting here, due to the timing of my pregnancy, the doctor’s advised that I not get on a plane and fly to New York.  I talk to Colleen on the phone two or three times a week.  We just click (see picture above from a night out).  We even look like each other.

photo 3-9Lucky for me, she FaceTimed me several times during the getting ready process.  Sorry for the hilarious picture Colleen – I had to.  Look how gorgeous this bride looked!  Who is that handsome guy to the right?

photo 1-207FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).  If I was going to miss one wedding this year, why did it have to be this one?  It was documented in my first pregnancy that I am Group Strep B positive.  This ultimately means that there is a risk during all of my pregnancies that my baby could be exposed to a bacteria that is harmful to the baby during labor.  It requires the mother to receive antibiotics 4 hours prior to delivery.  The antibiotic is penicillin, which I am allergic to.  While this is very common, I feel more comfortable being in the confines of a hospital that knows my situation in the event that I go into labor before my due date.

photo-71 That brings me to Friday.  Geared up with my daughter and my fill in husband (my mom), I headed to the doctor to get a full term ultrasound.  Mainly because the doctor’s wanted to check the size and position of the baby.  First things first, it was confirmed that it is definitely still a girl (I had my doubts!).  This was the only picture we got.  Why?  The baby is so low and has so much hair that it is too difficult to get a side profile shot.  Remember how much hair my first daughter had?  Baby number two could give her a run for her money.  That being said, the baby’s head is down (which I also doubted).

baby_madison-1-mediumThe biggest news (and shock) to me, was the fact that at just 36 weeks, the baby is measuring 6 pounds, 11 oz.  The ultrasound technician literally had to redo the measurement because she was so surprised.  If I were to go 40 weeks, the baby is estimated to weight close to 8.5-9 pounds.  Lord, help me.  My first daughter was surprisingly 7 pounds, 11 oz at 39 weeks.  I am currently 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced.  She’s coming.  Either sooner or bigger than I expected.  Pedal to the metal!

photo 4-136I am excited.  I have a renewed sense of energy.  A friend of ours came over Friday afternoon with her new baby.  My daughter was clingy, but surprisingly, she was captivated by the little body and wanted me to carry her around everywhere that I took the baby.  She will be a good big sister, but in the mean time, I will spend as much quality time with her as I can.

photo 2-213I’m not going to lie, with the excitement of Colleen’s wedding and the good news about baby number two, I couldn’t help but look back at the best day of my life – the day I married my husband.  In less than three years, we will have brought two incredible babies into this world.  The smile on my face the day that we were announced husband and wife has not faded.

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Workout Refocus – At Home TRX Training

I am over the bad weather forecasts as much as I am the cold weather.  I woke up Tuesday morning to snow falling in Charlotte.  To my surprise school was still on.  Seriously, it seems like businesses look for ways to shut down in the event that flurries start to fall.

photo 1-205I had a busy morning planned.  My daughter goes to half day childcare two days a week.  Moms in the same boat can attest, the four hours that she is gone are crucial “me” time that allows me to get some things that I need to get done.  As I began to reverse out of the driveway, my neighbor called to tell me that school had been canceled last minute.  What?  I don’t know who was more upset – my daughter or me.  Workout out the window, meetings out the window, errands out the window.  Worst of all, I had a crying toddler in the back of my car who thought she was being punished.

photo 2-17How could we make this lousy morning better?  First things first, I had to forget about my plans and unselfishly reconfigure our day.  How could I get a workout in, still get my daughter out of the house and get some much needed rest?  Lunch with dad was a start, but what about my workout?

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Who knew my TRX training and equipment would come in handy so soon.  As my daughter went down for a quick nap, I snuck out to our garage to rig up our TRX to complete an efficient and effective total body workout.  My plan was to ride at Flywheel, so I still wanted some intensity to be there (as much as it could be for how pregnant I am).

photo 1-22 There are so many ways to modify each and every TRX exercise, which makes it an incredible tool to have in the confines of you own home.  My workout was simple. Complete 25 reps of the following sequence of exercises two times.  I took my time completing all reps, and I also modified each exercise as I fatigued during my series.

  • TRX Squat – See picture below.  Press butt back on the way down and engage on the way up.  Sink into the squat.  Don’t let the TRX slack at all during the movement.

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  • TRX Step Back Lunge – (25 each leg, see picture below) Again, no slack in the TRX.  Open chest and avoid rounding/leaning forward.

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  • TRX Chest Press – See picture below.  Lower the TRX to as low as it can go.  The stance in my legs is a modification to make this exercise easier.   Straps are in front of your shoulders and do not touch your arms.  To make this more difficult, bring the rear foot forward, bring your feet together or increase the range.

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  • TRX Overhead Back Extension 
  • TRX Mid Row – See picture below.  Set the TRX as short as it can go.  I modified this exercise by decreasing the incline.  You can make this exercise harder again by increasing the incline of your body.  Key is bringing your shoulder blades together as you pull back.

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  • TRX Abductor Lunge – 25 each leg
  • TRX Overhead Squat
  • TRX Bicep Curl – See picture below.  Set the TRX to the middle line.  Complete a simple bicep curl while keeping elbows raised and in line with your shoulders.

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  • TRX Tricep Curl 

Claps to my husband who took these fun pictures as the sun was rising.  There are several exercises that I did not show above.  If you have any questions please let me know.  The key is knowing that you can modify any exercise to make it harder or easier as you complete your entire set of reps.  I can’t tell you how great it is to be able to workout at home effectively while my little one sleeps!  If you don’t have a TRX, you are in luck.  I can offer you a discount through a special ambassador code.  Please feel free to reach out to me for more information! 

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Pregnancy Update – Week 35

Size of Baby (per “What To Expect”) – Size of a pineapple. Approximately 5-6 pounds.

Weight Gain – Somewhere between 22-24 pounds. This is the exact same amount as last week.  I’m not really paying attention to weight gain as much at this point.  If the baby measurements at the doctor are on track, and I am still feeling ALOT of movement, I am going to feel good about where I am at.

Movement – Plenty of movement.  Unfortunately, it is isolated to my hips and outward belly pushes. The doctor seems to think the baby is not head down right now. This is okay, but let’s hope that she makes a move downward in the next couple of weeks.

Sleep – Whoa did I get sick last week.  Even worse, I got pink eye.  Guess what ladies?  Those antibiotics that the doctor gives your child when they get pink eye are not generally approved as safe for pregnant women.  That means I had to fight the entire infection sans antibiotics.  Hello crusty eyes that had to literally be pried open in the morning.

What I miss – Warm weather.  Temperatures in Charlotte were record lows.  It iced.  We were forced to stay inside a lot more than I would have liked.

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Best Moments this Week – My send off ride!  I taught my last class at Flywheel Charlotte prior to baby number two getting here.  It was bittersweet.  I will truly miss being on the bike as an instructor, but I have reached the point that it is important for me to get some much needed rest and nesting time.

photo 4-134I was welcomed into the studio by these beautiful flowers.  Such a generous gift from two very special people.  I was in the presence of some of the most committed, tough riders in our city.  It was incredible.  The numbers speak for themselves!

photo 3-175Once the weather finally cleared, we were finally able to get out of the house and spend some family time together.  Moments like this I will cherish.  It is slowly starting to hit me that we won’t only be this family unit of three for at most another month.  Our whole dynamic is about to change.

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Looking forward to – I don’t know if I am more looking forward to, or anxiously awaiting, my final ultrasound.  We didn’t get an ultrasound after 18 weeks with my first.  We are getting one at 36 weeks with my second.  I can’t help but hope that everything goes okay.  We aren’t the most religious people in the world (and we certainly don’t go to church as much as we should), but I pray for my girls every day.

Cravings –  Sweets.  It is officially Lent.  We gave up sweets.  Killer for a pregnant woman.

Symptoms –  Starting to get Braxton Hicks contractions.  After a long day on my feet, I finally had to pull a stool over while I cooked dinner.  My back hurt and I needed the rest.  My belly gets bigger than I realize each week.

Workouts – The awful weather really put a damper in my workouts.  I probably needed the rest with the bad cold that I was trying to recover from.

Monday – Tracy Anderson Pregnancy DVD.

Tuesday – Day off.  Even my usual Tuesday night Flywheel Charlotte class was cancelled.

Wednesday – Ride Flywheel Charlotte with Zach.

Thursday – Tracy Anderson Pregnancy DVD.

Friday – Ride Flywheel Charlotte with Sarah.

Saturday – TRX Training (pictures below).  Yes, pregnant women can do TRX at 36 weeks.  You would be surprised how much of the training that I was actually able to participate in (and how sore I was).

11021102_10103254926004053_8199797163800953161_nThe instructor was very well spoken and qualified in helping guide me through modifications.  Modifications that I will continue to use in my personal training.  The biggest compliment that she gave me was, “You are literally the most fit pregnant person that I have ever seen.”  Trust me, at this point in my pregnancy this might have made my week.

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Sunday – Teach Flywheel Charlotte.

Flywheel Farewell – For Now…

I can remember my first Flywheel class like some people remember the most important events of their life.  Maybe because it coincided with one of the most important days of my life – my wedding (May 2012) .  In my last attempt to drop any excess weight before squeezing into my wedding gown, I stepped into the indoor cycling studio and got an official beat down from fellow instructor Denise Duffy.  I was hooked.  It had been a LONG time since a workout had pushed me so hard.

photo 1-4At the time, I was battling numerous running injuries, so finding a low impact competitive cardio workout was key for me.  I dove right in and bought the unlimited package.  It was during the summer of 2012, when the manager at the time – Carrie Kaschak (now a master barre instructor) – approached me about trying out to teach.  I was hesitant, but I went all in.  I met and trained with New York phenomenon John Wellman.  He almost broke me – literally.  I was working full time during the day, training at night (sometimes as late as 10 or 11 o’clock).  That’s how bad I wanted this.  539135_10150988444060745_712042080_nWhen I was finally approved to teach, I was ecstatic.  I picked up classes wherever I could squeeze them into my schedule.  That was August 2012. Quite a lot has changed since then, and I truly believe the series of events that followed is what has led me down the path in which I can pursue my true passion.  After less than a year of being married – SURPRISE! – I found out that I was pregnant.  I went through the roller coaster of emotions that every first time pregnant woman experiences.  How much could I really continue my athletic routine without putting myself or my growing child in danger?  How long should I keep teaching?  Could I manage to continue to teach and work full time after the baby was born?

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I played it safe.  I continued my normal exercise routine (at the advice of my doctor), until I hit the end of my first trimester.  I shared my exciting news with management and worked on a plan to determine how long I would continue to teach.  My last ride as an instructor was at 24 weeks.  I played it super safe.  After a fun send off ride, I strictly rode in classes with other instructors.  Probably the best training that I will ever get.  I absorbed every detail (good and bad) of each class that I took.  I hoped that I would be back teaching, but I just didn’t know where my life would take me after my daughter was born.

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October 2013 – My daughter was born.  The decision about whether to teach was easy.  I had been sitting back patiently waiting for my chance to find myself back in the saddle as an instructor.  A piece of me was missing when I wasn’t interacting with the Flywheel riders as  their leader.  During the time that I was out, I developed incredible relationships with many of the regular riders.  These relationships will last a lifetime.

photo 2-209I taught my first class after my first daughter was born in December 2013.  That’s right – less than 8 weeks after.  See picture above.  What a rush.  I will never forget the butterflies that filled my stomach as I looked around the room at a packed class ready to ride.  It is a rush that literally leaves you on a high.  I was back.  Better yet, I was back like nothing had changed.  Like I hadn’t been off that instructor bike for several months.

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That brings me to present day.  Less than eight months after my first daughter was born – SURPRISE! – I found out that I was pregnant again.  Now, I really needed to assess whether or not I could continue teaching (or did I).  The answer was completely obvious.  I could see the writing on the wall.  For those of you who know me well, you know that this pregnancy has not been easy.  I took several weeks off in August after experiencing a subchorionic hematoma.  I thought that I had lost the baby before I even had a chance to tell anyone.

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I dropped classes all over.  I scaled back.  My riders continued to support me.  So did my family.  It was during this time that I found the courage to start making big decisions in my life.  Every day is something that we should cherish.  Every day I should be doing something that makes a difference to myself, in a way that I can impact those around me.  I find that middle ground in fitness.  There are direct results staring me in the face.  There is no discrimination in a workout.  Every person shares in the same exciting, confidence building atmosphere.

photo 3-175It is for this reason that I decided to stop working my desk job full time and focus on family and fitness.  I had my send off ride Sunday at Flywheel Charlotte.  I am 36 weeks pregnant.  After a rough start to pregnancy number two, I got my feet underneath me and found strength through those around me.  I hope that I can inspire other pregnant women to do the same.  In the last few weeks of this pregnancy, I finished up my certified personal training certification and my TRX certification.  My next step is getting postnatal and prenatal certified.  I have a passion for helping pregnant women find the importance of exercise during this amazing experience, as well as, every day people.

1782267_806238299391804_1661654440_o-2Thank you friends and family.  Thank you Flywheel Charlotte.  Thank you to all of those who have helped guide me in this direction.  I don’t know what the future has in store for me, but I can promise that I will do everything I can to come back even stronger after baby number two.