Fitness Weekly Wrap Up Week #2

Sunday, August 27

Can you believe I'm actually posting again?! It's a miracle! 😂 I follow some fitness girls on Instagram who post workouts on their feed, and decided I would use them for a few workouts this week. Since I'm limited in my weights at home, I have to find workouts that just involve using my own body as a weight.

Monday: I did this workout (12->5 workout), and due to time (hello solar eclipse!) I was only able to get through about half of the repeats required. It was still a pretty intense workout. Building up that endurance is pretty hard!

Tuesday: Chase was home so I got to go on a solo 3 mile run. I ran the same loop that I did the previous Saturday. I felt like I put in a lot more effort to run, and run consistently and I ended the run at the same time (41 minutes).

Wednesday: Rest Day. I noticed that I wasn't drinking enough water and that it was effecting my milk supply. So I decided to take a rest day and focus on drinking lots more water to replenish lost fluids through sweat.

Thursday: Rest Day. Same thing as yesterday. I wanted to give myself an extra day to focus on drinking enough water.

Friday: I did 3 sets of 5 of Plyo Lunge Rows, 3 sets of 10 of Tricep Rocking Pushups, 3 sets of Toe Tap Crunches, and 3 sets of 10 of Squats with an overhead DB press (3 pound weights are the only weights I have at the moment). It was hard and my legs really couldn't keep jumping.

Saturday: Ran 1.88 miles in 21:53. My pace was about 11'36" per mile, and I had several walk breaks. I did a small loop which basically was an out and back. I went running around 10am and it was pretty hot, so I was glad to be home in the cooler house.

Sunday: Rest Day, but I did go on a short walks with just me and the dogs.

The Benefits of our Furbabies

Saturday, August 26

In honor of National Dog Day (yes it's a thing - just like National Donut Day!) I'm talking about the benefits of our furbabies. Mainly dogs, but the benefits I am mentioning can also be for cats, birds, hamsters, etc.

I’m sharing a graphic PuppySpot created highlighting the benefits of dogs. If you don't have a furbaby or are feeling down, be sure to check out their site to view cute puppy pictures.

When Chase and I first got married we really wanted a dog. We wanted a companion and someone to love on and love us in return. At that time we were suffering with some depression, not infertility. We looked through the classifieds and found a cute black/brown "chorkie." Little did we know how much time and effort it took to take care of this puppy. He also ended up being a puggle (which are known for high energy), not a chorkie. When it started taking us longer to get pregnant Hurley was there for us and loved on us. It was at this point that we took more time and effort in making sure he received more exercise and attention (we may have been bad pet parents for a time). We found that during our struggle Hurley helped us feel like we were needed and that we were parents to this dog.

During our infertility journey he was our baby. We took him on adventures with us. We took photos of our dogs and shared those pictures, just like how our friends did with their kids. We even took "first day of school" photo and shared them with friends and family. Most got a kick out of it, and it was fun being like our friends with kids. 

With each trial we go through (infertility mainly), dogs as well as other animals, help us cope. I've come up with some benefits to having furbabies:

• Having them need us to feed, love and tend to them
• Someone to love us unconditionally regardless of our flaws
• The dog loving, cuddling and caring for us when we've had a bad day
• It helps us to get out and to be physically active
• Spending time thinking of places to take our dogs to (camping, dog parks, hiking, etc)
• Taking care of someone else helps us to forget our own worries
• Buying treats, toys and clothes for our dogs, basically spoiling them because we don't have a baby to spoil

What are some things you love to do with your furbabies?

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Things I wished I would've known after going through infertility

Tuesday, August 22

There are a lot of things I wasn't expecting after I got pregnant. There are things that I wished others who were successful after infertility would have expressed to me.

If you've read this blog for the past 9 months you know that Chase and I got pregnant with our miracle baby after being told I wouldn't ever be a biological mother. That happened after our 2nd failed IVF cycle last year.

I've listed a few things that I feel need to be shared after having gone through infertility for so long and now having been pregnant:

Feelings of being alone and isolated

The first trimester can be a long 3 months, and choosing who to tell and not tell can cause feelings of being alone and isolated. There can be a lot of questions that pop up and if you haven't told anyone you may feel there is no one to turn to for questions. If you've kept your infertility journey private it can cause those first few months of pregnancy to feel like a long journey.

I personally felt alone during the first trimester and it made it a long 3 months. I didn't share with anyone on social media knowing that I have a lot of friends and family that have followed our infertility journey. There were so many times I wanted to comment on an online friends post to share our struggle with the same things in pregnancy. But, I held my tongue (including my fingers), on comments knowing that others (friends and family) could possibly read what I wrote. That made me feel like I was going through this transition alone.

Feelings of fear/Infertility PTSD

Along with the feelings of being alone and isolation during the first trimester, there is also a feeling of fear and what I like to call "Infertility PTSD." You anticipate with each cramp or twinge you feel could be the end of this pregnancy. Each time you use the bathroom you check for blood on your underwear and think that this might be the end. During the first and second trimester (mostly because you aren't showing a bump or feel movement) you feel you don't belong at the OB or midwifes office. You feel you aren't technically an infertile anymore, but you aren't technically pregnant either.

It was my 16 week appointment and I had a complete melt down in the waiting room before seeing my doctor. I felt I didn't belonged there, that I didn't deserve any of this happiness, and felt guilty because so many of my TTC sisters online and off, were still struggling. I relived those feelings each time I walked into my OB's office, and it finally caught up to me. That same week we started our hypnobirthing class, and learned about relaxation and calming your mind. Each appointment after taking the class I would listen to a relaxation track in the waiting room. It helped calm me down and think positively. That's essentially what I needed in order to have that 20 seconds of insane courage to be at those appointments. It did eventually get easier, but it took essentially half the pregnancy for me to get over those feelings (even though they still come and go).

Feelings of more and more choices to make

After early monitoring and being released at 10 weeks, you have to decide what doctor to go to. Up until this point you have just had to focus on you. Now your focus is on getting the right doctor who supports you in getting those extra ultrasounds or extra doppler checks (if that's what you want) to help calm your fears. You also have to decide if you want to breastfeed or bottle feed. What items you'll need/not need for the baby. What pediatrician to go to, what birthing route you want to take (if you aren't considered high risk), what birthing class to take, etc. All those choices for something you are still unsure if it will last. Which can lead back to those feelings of fear.

I wasn't considered high risk, and since our pregnancy was spontaneous we chose to get monitored by our fertility clinic. After getting released from the fertility clinic, I had my first appointment with my OB at about 10 weeks. We made sure everyone in the office knew that this baby was a miracle after years of infertility. My hope was that they would be more compassionate and understanding towards Chase and I and our struggle. Since our appointments were every month, that in between time was scary. We bought a doppler to help ease our worries, and it helped since I didn't feel the baby move until after 20 weeks.

Feelings of is this is what I really want

If you're like me, and didn't grow up wanting to and being excited to become a mom, you get that constant reminder throughout pregnancy on if this is what you really want. You have to decide to make a change mentally, or to let this question linger throughout your pregnancy. Change is hard, and sometimes it can be just that, not wanting things to change.
I wasn't expecting to still feel and question myself on if this is what I really wanted. I was never one to long to be a mother as I grew up. I believe a lot of how I feel relates to what my experiences were like as a pre-teen/teen. With helping raise my siblings because my parents were divorced. I have talked about being scared to be a parent, and I'm sure these feelings had something to do with it. After years of infertility we are now growing our family, and it will be a huge change. Chase and I won't be able to just leave the house to hang out with friends, go see a movie whenever we feel like it, or be able to have quiet time with each other. Our life will revolve around a new baby, and that is a huge change.

Feelings of this is hard

Pregnancy is hard. It can be hard on your mind, your body, and cause emotional breakdowns. But, so is going through infertility and fertility treatments. When going through infertility, you can have hard days and complain a lot at how you long to be a mother. When going through pregnancy, you can have hard days and complain at how you long to have your body back. Both sides wish they were in the other persons shoes. Aside from wishing to be in the others' shoes, both sides of the fence are hard to deal with and for different reasons.

I try very hard to not complain on social media. I don't want others to read negativity, and to me that's not where you express your negativity and frustrations. However, I did not expect to feel so exhausted, tired and barely able to move the last few weeks of pregnancy.  I have compared pregnancy/labor/delivery as training for and running a marathon (more like an ultra for me) and so far it's pretty darn close - except I'm using my uterus as my main muscle instead of my legs, core and butt. I've ran 2 marathons, several half marathons and I have trained for those races and know how taxing it is on your body. Regardless of if you are training for a marathon or growing a human, it is hard work. I am starting to understand how some pregnant women complain at wanting it to be over. Let me be clear - Pregnancy is hard, going through infertility is hard, but I wouldn't change either experience. It has helped me be more compassionate towards those going through hard trials.

Those who have been on both sides of the fence (infertility and experienced pregnancy), would you add anything or change what I have written? 

My hope for this post was to help someone know they aren't alone with those feelings. I hope the few things I've listed help someone who has experienced their Big Fat Positive (BFP) and are now experiencing all the feelings associated with being pregnant.

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Fitness Weekly Wrap Up Week #1

Sunday, August 20

I'm going to be doing a weekly wrap up of my fitness journey post pregnancy. In the past (this blog is really for me and sometimes for you... 😉) I have really enjoyed recapping my training. This time I am planning on including more details on my training than what I did last time. Feel free to follow along each week as I'm hoping this helps me stay accountable. I don't have a gym membership anymore (it ended the end of June) so I'm going to be logging more at home stuff to do. Which will be more effort on my part, but I'm willing to do it.

Monday: I can't remember what I did.

Tuesday: Nothing that I can recall.

Wednesday: I ran/walked 1.8 miles. It took me 44 minutes. I also did 10 sumo squats, and 10 reverse lunges (L+R) when I got back home.

Thursday: Went for a walk around our neighborhood with our dogs.

Friday: I did tried this workout from that Megan shared a while ago. She posts great workouts on her Instagram account. I only managed to do 3 of them before my knees started hurting. I did make sure to stretch really good afterwards, so hopefully that will help my knee feel better.

Saturday: I ran a 3.0 mile loop from my house in 41:16. I was feeling pretty good when I started aside from the temperature outside. I walked .5km (that's what my watch was set on for some reason) and then started running. My goal was to run and be uncomfortably comfortable. I still did a run/walk based on how I was feeling. When I was running my pace was under 10:00/mile, but my average with the walking was 13:24.

I'm looking to build a base with my old 11-12/mile pace and then try and get a bit faster. I will probably include some speed sessions in the coming weeks. That was my weakness before pregnancy, and I'm going to try and be better at getting more of them in. 

Sunday: Rest Day!!

Guest Posting at Women's Running Community

Thursday, August 10

I'm sharing 10 ways to stay motivated to run over at Women's Running Community. I've been following WRC on Instagram for some time, and they always share great inspiring posts. If you're looking for motivation be sure to follow them!

Please go read my post "10 ways to stay motivated to run" and give some love!

I also took over their Instagram account today. So be sure to check them out!

Things that are Second Hand Infertility

Tuesday, August 1

I'm sure you've heard of "secondary infertility" which is the inability to conceive after birthing other biological children. Today, I'm talking about "second hand infertility" similar to second hand smoke, but with infertility.

Second Hand Infertility is your parents seeing you struggle with infertility while their friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc become grandparents. They are unable to do anything to help aside from praying and financially helping. They, like us, are silently grieving and wishing and praying that they get to become grandparents.

Here's how it is affecting us. Chase and I are the oldest on either side of our families. We both come from very small families. I have 2 siblings and Chase has 1. None of which have children, and only recently did Chase's brother get married.

Both of our parents struggled to get pregnant at some point. Chase's parents had several miscarriages before they figured out the cause (low progesterone) and were able to finally stay pregnant with him and his brother. My parents struggled with secondary infertility after having me, and my sister and I are 7 years a part due to that.

So both sets of parents can somewhat relate to our struggle with infertility, because they themselves struggled. When we first started trying we wanted to be parents and give our parents the opportunity to become grandparents. We were quiet about trying the first couple of years because, like most infertiles, we thought we would get pregnant quickly. When it didn't happen after 2 years, we told our family that we were struggling.

Around that time we told them, they started seeing their friends children become pregnant. They started feeling the same feelings we were feeling when we would see pregnancy announcements all over social media. At first they were happy for their friends, but then they started grieving and praying that they would eventually get to become grandparents.

Though I can't say it was easy watching them grieve while we struggled. I think it helped them realize how big of a blessing grand babies are and appreciate them more than the typical grandparent.

Do you know anyone that has struggled with second hand infertility?
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