Saturday, June 25, 2016

C-Section Saturday: 4 Weeks Post-Op


As I have mentioned before I will be using Saturdays to discuss, teach, and learn about C-Section recovery for athletes. Be prepared, some of the information that we discuss will be graphic, but I assure you that I will do my best to cover each topic with the grace of the true southern lady that I am. With that being said lets jump in! 

Weeks three and four saw a couple of set backs. I decided to try to get back up to speed a little faster than I should have and I ended up opening my incision up a little bit. I will tell you that was pretty scary, Let me say here and now that the discharge instructions that the doctors give you about working out (or taking meds/sleeping/sex/anything at all) are NOT A SUGGESTION. When they say don't lift anything they are not trying to ruin your life. They are trying to help you heal as quickly and as effectively as possible. Be smarter than me. Listen to your doctors and do as your told. Your body will thank you for it.


I am in less pain now. I feel some slight tugging when I get Henry out of the Rock and Play but it isn't too bad. I haven't been brave enough to push my double stroller around yet. But I have taken a three mile walk every single day for the past two weeks with either my husband or my mother-in-law pushing the stroller. I am now walking up and down the stairs carrying Henry and holding William's hand. I carried in light groceries from the car yesterday with only minimal discomfort and no real pain. I still cannot lift William (weighing in at 34 pounds) out of his crib and honestly I am a little afraid to try after my experience this last week. I am off of all of my pain meds. I still have another two weeks of being on the iron supplements and I will be so excited when I am done with those!


So here is the scary part. Ever two weeks or so I will post up pictures of my physical progress. Part of this is accountability and part of it is to help other C-section moms see what normal looks like. Four weeks post C-section, this is what I looked like: 




Weight- 210 pounds
Waist (narrowest point)- 42.5 inches
Navel- 44 inches
Hips- 47 inches
Thigh- 27 inches
Neck- 15 inches
Bicep- 12.75 inches
Forearm- 10 inches
Wrist- 7 inches

I will admit that seeing this is hard for me. But I don't have to stay here. Yes I had major abdominal surgery so I need to train smart and safe. I have two more weeks until I am allowed to start that, so for now training smart and safe means taking control of my nutrition, eating right, and staying moving. The real question isn't if I can do it, it is how badly do I want it.


Psalm 139;19 says that "God knit me together in my mother's womb". Isn't it amazing to be a part of the miracle of birth? Isn't it amazing what God made our bodies to do? Your body will look different. Your body will feel different. But your body is incredible and don't you let anyone tell you otherwise.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

C-Section Saturday: Multitasking Queen



As I have mentioned before I will be using Saturdays to discuss, teach, and learn about C-Section recovery for athletes. Be prepared, some of the information that we discuss will be graphic, but I assure you that I will do my best to cover each topic with the grace of the true southern lady that I am. With that being said lets jump in! 

The number one question that I get asked from other moms, C-Section or not, is how do you do it all? 

Here is a little bit of what I do: 

Pursuing my spiritual life,
being an Army wife,
raising an 18 month-old
having a newborn,
running a full-time fitness ministry, 
cooking paleo meals from scratch, 
my own physical training,
keeping a clean house 
having friends

The truth is, I don't do all of these at the same time and I have to be very careful to not let this list become an idol for me. I struggle with not just wanting to seem perfect, but with wanting to actually BE perfect and that just isn't real. 

So, now that we have covered the unrealistic expectations, how do I do my daily life? 

In the Army, they talk often about being "tasked" with things. My job is to carefully look at what I have to do and see where it fits. In light of that I carefully look at my schedule each week with Brian at our weekly planning meetings. There we discuss the the week and the activities that we have going on. And then I multitask. I try to be as efficient as possible in everything that I do. Benjamin Franklin said, "Don't put off for tomorrow what can be done today." I am a big believer in working hard when it is time to work and then setting the work aside. 

The first four items on my list are my priority. These things have to happen EVERY SINGLE DAY, even when I am tired, even when I am less than 100%. 

These are my focus. 

The other stuff is great to do, but honestly, no one is going to kill over if I order a pizza for dinner tonight. My own personal training is important to me, but at this point in my life (I'm not trying to compete) I have other things to focus on. Keeping a perfect house with a toddler is difficult. Keeping a perfect house with a 3 foot tall 18 month old is dang near impossible. Does it irritate me that there are ALWAYS hand-prints on the front window of the house? A little. But then I remember that one day there won't be. One day, this 18 month old will be 18 years old and may not be in my home anymore. Those little hand-prints are what happens when my son runs up to the window to tell me all about what is happening in the neighborhood. That is where he said, "pup" for the first time. 

No matter what social media may show you, no one really lives the way that they present themselves on their instagram, facebook, or whatever. In real life there are messes and you burn the chicken, and the sink stops up. That is real life. I am learning to keep in mind that God didn't call me to have a perfect house, He called me to be His child, Brian's wife, and Henry and William's mom.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Fitness Journey: From Breathless to Athlete

My name is Carrie. I was born six weeks early with a twin brother, spent 10 days in the NICU and came out with four auto immune challenges. The major limiting factor was asthma. It became my lynch pin and dictated how my day would go and what activities I could participate in. I was never very athletic in junior high or high school. I played basketball and ran cross country, but never excelled. I focused my energies on academics and showing livestock (I was raised on a cattle ranch) because those were two areas where I could win.

Fast forward to now - I am 34 and have gone through years of learning how to orchestrate health and healing through a combination of modern and natural medicine and diet. I started working out at a gym in 2013 when my husband deployed. I needed an outlet and wanted to get in better shape. He is a very active person and I wanted to be able to keep up with him when he returned home.

A few months before we PCSed to Ft. Bragg, we joined a small cross fit gym. He really wanted me to try it and I was terrified. I had seen those athletes on ESPN and I knew I couldn't keep up. Despite my fears, I gave in and agreed to try it out. What I found, instead of fire breathing athletes, was an amazing culture of encouragement and positivity. The coaches were sticklers for form, but open to scaling everything down a level I could manage and yet still be challenged with.

I fell in love with this new way to exercise!

The workouts were challenging, but no two days were the same. I began to get stronger and build confidence in myself.

Once we moved to North Carolina, I started looking for a gym to attend. My husband had met a Chaplain at a different post whose wife ran a cross fit gym out of their garage. He mentioned how he hoped we could find something like that for me when we got to Fayetteville. We arrived in August and I tried a few gyms out.

Nothing reminded me of what I had found back in Oregon.

I was slightly discouraged, but knew that something would open up.

In September, I attended a Protestant Women of the Chapel event and it was there that I met Morgan Farr. Morgan and her husband, Brian, run Farr Fitness out of their garage as a gym ministry. It was perfect. Morgan's background is power lifting, so she programs workouts to increase my strength. Brian watches form and works to refine movements and increase mobility. Combined, they are a perfect team.

It has been eight months since I started attending their gym. I knew I had been getting stronger, but didn't realize how much so until this past weekend. My husband came home from work excited to say we had an invitation to go rock climbing on a mountain. A few of his classmates had the gear and were willing to take two newbies along.

It was on this Saturday that functional fitness got a victory. I was able to climb three walls, one of which was 80 feet high. My upper body strength has increased dramatically - and while my climbs weren't as finessed as the season climbers, I was able to keep up and enjoy the day. It was a major win in my fitness journey and I can't wait for more. This is just the beginning!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

C-Section Saturday: 1st Day Back at Training!


Still not a Saturday, but today is my (Morgan's) first day back at training!

I started my Killer Cardio 5K plan today. Due to weather issues and my kiddos I ended up having to do the cardio part on the elliptical rather than running out in the neighborhood. I am grateful to Brian for purchasing it for me, even though at the time I thought he was a little crazy.

I did my 30 squats as well, but I broke them up in to two sets of fifteen. It felt pretty good, but there is some minor pulling on the right side of my incision. When I went in yesterday for my 2 month postpartum checkup, the doctor said that was a possibility.

Overall, I feel pretty good.

We will see how I feel tomorrow after the burpees....


Photography in Fayetteville

Love the pictures on our blog? 
Most of them come from Samantha over at Samantha Matheny Photography

Sam is incredibly professional and never breaks a sweat. She didn't bat an eye when doing our newborn photos for Henry with a fussy and teething William running around. She even took the time to play with him and show him what she was doing with her camera.


Sam is located here in Fayetteville, North Carolina and does family pictures, newborn and birth photography. You can check out her facebook profile here.  


Thanks for capturing my family Sam!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

C-Section Saturday: 2 Month Check Up

Ok Y'all, I know it isn't Saturday, but I am going in to get my final check up and get cleared to start training again! It is FINALLY HERE!!!! 
If you would like to read more about C-Section Saturdays you can read all of the posts here. Be sure to check back often!



Saturday, June 11, 2016

C-Section Saturday: 2 Weeks Post-OP


As I have mentioned before I will be using Saturdays to discuss, teach, and learn about C-Section recovery for athletes. Be prepared, some of the information that we discuss will be graphic, but I assure you that I will do my best to cover each topic with the grace of the true southern lady that I am. With that being said lets jump in! 

This is my first week talking about my recovery. I will post a full birth story for each of my boys at some point, I am just not ready to do that quite yet. 

Henry was born on a Thursday evening and I went home just two days later on Saturday afternoon. I will tell you that unless you have a strong (and I do mean STRONG) support system, this is not the way to do it. I am fortunate enough to have my entire gym family, my awesome in-laws, and my incredible husband here to help and it was still really hard. I actually had to have my husband help me stand in the shower so that I could get the hospital smell off of me. 

In the first two days you can expect to be very sore. Pretty much every single movement is going to hurt. They will probably send you home with an army of pain killers, but if you are like me and you are focused on breast feeding, you will probably cut the number that you take in half. This greatly helped my son to not be so drowsy and to feed better. It sucks for mama, but is better for baby in the long run. If you choose to do this be prepared for the pain so that it doesn't sneak up on you. If  you want to read about how I managed all those pills that they gave me you can read about my solution here

The first week I managed to go up and down the stairs unassisted, but I always let someone else carry Henry, just in case. With my first son being nine and a half pounds I had to have help picking him up each time he needed to nurse because I couldn't bend over the crib. This time we got smart and used a Rock and Play that is just about the same height as our bed. This made night time feedings much easier. Eating was challenging because the doctors had me on iron which makes everything taste like metal. I recommend whatever sounds good, eat it. Just this week, and make sure you don't beat yourself up about it.    

The second week my sister-in-law came to town and we managed to go to a local fair. We walked for about an hour and half total. My family rode the rides and I pushed our brand new double stroller around. In retrospect, this was a bit ambitious and I was REALLY SORE the next day. We also had Henry's two week check up and I was nowhere near ready to drive yet (speed bumps and pot holes are killer for about a month!) so my husband had to drive us. At this point I was getting better at going up and down the stairs so I started carrying Henry with me (11 pound step-ups anyone?!?) rather than having to make someone else do it. Clothes don't sit quite right yet and they rub my incision pretty badly so I am wearing loosely fitting clothing and leggings that come up over my incision. As C-section mama nursing isn't always easy because lifting your kid can just plain hurt, so clip down nursing bras are my best friend. I like this one for everyday use, this one for night time, and this one for training

All in all the first two weeks weren't terrible. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't want to repeat them for fun or anything, but it is absolutely doable.  

So here is the scary part. Ever two weeks or so I will post up pictures of my physical progress. Part of this is accountability and part of it is to help other C-section moms see what normal looks like. Two weeks post C-section, this is what I looked like: 



2 weeks
Weight- 219 pounds
Waist (narrowest point)- 43 inches
Navel- 45 
inches
Hips- 47 
inches
Thigh- 27 
inches
Neck -15 
inches
Bicep- 12.75 
inches
Forearm- 10 
inches
Wrist- 7 
inches

I will admit that seeing this is hard for me. But I don't have to stay here. Yes I had major abdominal surgery so I need to train smart and safe. I have four more weeks until I am allowed to start that, so for now training smart and safe means taking control of my nutrition, eating right, and staying moving. The real question isn't if I can do it, it is how badly do I want it.


Psalm 139;19 says that "God knit me together in my mother's womb". Isn't it amazing to be a part of the miracle of birth? Isn't it amazing what God made our bodies to do? Your body will look different. Your body will feel different. But your body is incredible and don't you let anyone tell you otherwise.




Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Killer Cardio 5K Plan

Ok y'all, we are just ONE WEEK OUT from the start of my postpartum fitness program. It is 15 weeks long and starts off fairly slowly. But I will warn you then it gets... ambitious.




A lot of people will ask why these movements and why these numbers? I created it based off of my personal goals for when I start strength training again. I can't use any weights until 6 months postpartum. This plan goes right up to the date that I can start back up.

I want my squat to be excellent when I get back to it.
I hate burpees, so I need to do more of them.
Running WODS have always been my nemesis, so I'm going to tackle that monster now.

I figure I am at my lowest physically right now, so NOW is the time to work hard.

I can only get better from here.

As with anything else, you should contact your doctor before you start up any new fitness routine post surgery. Wait to train until your doctor clears you. Be smart and take care of your body. I used this C-Section Recovery plan for the first six weeks of my recovery, I highly recommend it!

Are you going to be training with me? Let me know how you like the plan!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Spring 2016 Fitness Day Competition

We had our spring Spring Fitness Competition this last Saturday. It was a blast and we had SO MUCH FUN. Here is a link to the pictures from the event.

Thank you to everyone that came out early to set up!

Congrats to Ella and Rachel for winning in their categories.

We will be having our next fitness day in July. Feel free to invite friends, family, neighbors... anyone is welcome to participate. We scale for all ability levels. Please keep a lookout on the facebook page for that event's information. That page is also where we post any weather related closures, policy changes, and class adjustments.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

C-Section Survival and Recovery Guide: The Pills


As I have mentioned before I will be using Saturdays to discuss, teach, and learn about C-Section recovery for athletes. Be prepared, some of the information that we discuss will be graphic, but I assure you that I will do my best to cover each topic with the grace of the true southern lady that I am. With that being said lets jump in! 

One of the first things that you will have to deal with when you get home from the hospital is the barrage of pills that you will have to take for the next several weeks.

When I left the hospital I had prescriptions for:
Motrin (every 8 hours)
Percocet (every 4 hours)
Prenatal Vitamins (every 24 hours)
Iron supplements (every 12 hours)
Stool softeners (every 12 hours)
Fiber supplements (every 6 hours)

My pill schedule had pills at 4 am, 8am, noon, 4pm,  8pm, and midnight.

That is a LOT!

With my rowdy 17 month old, a newborn, and a full time gym ministry let me tell you it was hard to keep it all straight. I ended up using one of these 7 day pill organizer (4 time slots for each day) and an additional two (single time) 7 day organizers.

We took my handy label maker and got to work. The first of the single day organizers I labeled 8 am. I left this pill organizer beside my sink in the bathroom as most mornings I was finishing up my make-up at 8 am. The second of the single day organizers I labeled as Noon and left downstairs in our kitchen (where my son couldn't reach it!) since most days I tried to eat lunch at the kitchen table with my son and my husband. The organizer with 4 time slots was labeled with the remaining times. Since I was released from the hospital on a Sunday,  I refilled my pill organizers each Sunday.

This system worked well for me and I would strongly encourage any new C-section mama to look in to this system or a similar one for your recovery at home. The last thing you want is to forget to take your pain meds or have your iron not be where it should.