This picture was taken a couple days ago after a very hard workout that I will admit I cried during. I am posting this to tell you that, while I’m focusing more on my writing career, I am still keeping my fitness routine five days a week. For me, it is a must. I need that comfort of regularity in the face of the rejections that come with writing. I need that grounding drop to the floor feeling that reminds me that I can still stand back up after I have fallen down. Everyone has their different way to keep themselves going, I am here to tell you to not lose yours even in the face of uncertainty. You are the one who can stand yourself back up.
Last week on the morning of March 8th making me exactly 39 weeks pregnant we had an unexpected arrival!!! Our third baby was born after 10 hours of labor, which is the longest labor I have had. Now here is the kicker…. she arrived at 9 lbs and 1 oz…. Here are the pictures of the beginning and end to each of my pregnancies.
The top two pictures are from my first pregnancy, the second two are from my second, and the third set of two is from my last one.
In the top picture is the first and last picture from my second and third pregnancies in a front view. So as you can see from all of the pictures I started with more abs and was fitter with my third and was able to stay as fit as I could making my stomach look a bit smaller than it had with my other pregnancies. I really thought that this last baby would be smaller too, but apparently I was completely wrong. Our first baby was exactly 7 lbs and was only 19 1/4th inches long. Our second baby was 8 lbs 5 oz and 20 1/2 inches long. and This last baby was a whole 9 lbs 1 oz and 20 inches long….. At the end of my first pregnancy I had gained 25 lbs, at the end of my second I had gained 16 lbs, and at the end of my third I had gained 30 lbs.
Below is a picture that shows pretty well the size of each of the babies compared to me after they were born.
Angela was our first baby born only 2 days before I turned 40 weeks, Sarah our second born at exactly 39 weeks, and Dawn is our third and last born also at exactly 39 weeks. All born healthy. The only issues we had was Angela had a little jaundice, but not enough to bring home a blanket and we didn’t have to keep her in the hospital and Dawn had just a little issue with her blood sugar levels dropping since she was so big, but we were able to take her home after only one day 🙂
It seems that with each pregnancy that I worked out more each baby grew bigger than the last inside of me. My first pregnancy I only walked, my second pregnancy I only ran, and this last pregnancy I did weighted work outs and for my cardio I did running/biking or the elliptical/ stairs depending on the weather.
Below are my cardio logs from when we first found out we were pregnant on July 4th to the end of the pregnancy.
Now onto recovery for 6 weeks before I can start all over with trying to build myself up physically again, but happily I hopefully won’t have to start all over again in the future since this was our last pregnancy 🙂 I’m excited to finally have my body back and am super blessed and happy that I was able to birth three beautiful healthy baby girls over the span of the last almost 6 years. And with that my pregnancy fitness journey posts will end.
Made it to 38 weeks and feeling pretty great besides having to pee like maybe literally close to 50 times a day and at night about every two hours…. so trying to sleep is a nightmare, but I’m well well WELL aware that once the baby comes sleep will be zilch. Now instead of boring you with the same details from before here are my comparison photos from my 38th week in all my pregnancies.
The top left is from my first pregnancy, the bottom left is from my second pregnancy, and the right is from my third. I feel like in this pregnancy my stomach is smaller compared to all of my pregnancies, which I was not expecting it to be smaller at all from my first since usually for most people their first pregnancy bellies are smaller because the abs aren’t used to being stretched open or out yet. This pregnancy compared to my second I feel like I am WAY smaller, which I’m crazy hoping means that this baby won’t be over 8 lbs like my second was. Only time and the birth will tell though… So please send prayers and hopeful thoughts that our little one will be healthy in all aspects. I will of course let be known how this baby is healthy wise and size wise compared to the other two when she comes out.
And of course I can’t forget the front facing comparisons between my second and third pregnancies at 38 weeks. My second pregnancy is on the left and my third is on the right. As you can see my abs are still holding true and trying to hold her in compared to my second. In my second pregnancy it looks like my belly is going to just fall off of me… , but also we can’t forget that I had only gained 16 lbs with my second and with this pregnancy I have gained 29 lbs so far.
So once again hopeful thoughts for a healthy little one and a quick and painless labor….. (haha to the painless, but a girl can dream right?).
Been doing pretty decent at maintaining as much muscle mass as I can. This was taken at two days away from being 37 weeks pregnant. In this pregnancy so far I have gained the most weight compared to my two previous pregnancies. I went from 135 lbs to 163 lbs so far. With my second pregnancy I only gained 16 lbs and with my first I gained 25 lbs. With my first baby as I have previously stated I only walked and with my second pregnancy I only ran. With this pregnancy I have been running/biking or doing stairs/ elliptical work including weighted workouts on top of that. Basically keeping up with what I was doing before I was pregnant as much as I can. Last week was my last week with weighted workouts though before I started in on stretching and preparing for labor “workout” routines this morning. Although I had only gained 16 lbs with my second pregnancy, she ended up weighing 8 lbs and 5 ounces at a week early, but we believe it was because as I was gaining baby weight I was losing my muscle mass causing me to gain so little. My first baby was only 7 lbs exactly two days away from her due date when I had gained 25 lbs. I am interested to see how big this baby will turn out to be when it is time. The last time I was weighed I was up 28 lbs so far with three weeks and two days to go until her due date.
Here are my comparisons from week 34 in all of the pregnancies.
My first pregnancy is on the top left, my second is on the bottom left, and my third is on the right. 🙂 Next is the front view from my second and third pregnancies at 34 weeks.
My second is on the left and my third is on the right.
Here are the comparisons from my 36th week of my pregnancies.
My first pregnancy is on the top left, my second on the bottom left, and my third is on the right. Below is the front view at 36 weeks.
My second pregnancy is on the left and my third is on the right.
As you can see I’m still carrying so much different than my second pregnancy. I was a lot rounder then and she was a lot lower. I am very curious to see how much Dawn weighs when she comes out. I feel like she takes up so much room inside of me, but I’m having so much less issues than I had with my second pregnancy since she isn’t as low. My first baby weighed 7 lbs and was really short in length. My second baby was 8 lbs 5 ounces and was average in length and she was born about 5 days earlier. That is a huge difference in my opinion in size. So I can’t wait to see how much Dawn comes to when it is time.
During this time span I have now resorted to walking stairs as was in my plan, but I increased my time from 15 minutes to 20 instead and have been doing that these last two weeks and everything seems fine besides the occasional knee pains, but I know that my body will get its rest once the baby comes. I also have continued with my planned out workout schedule and have just completed the week that I had set aside to take out if I needed to. It made me happy that I was able to do it and didn’t need to remove it. Surprisingly, the two plyometric workouts in it were not too hard for me. Definitely brought back a little confidence. This coming up week is my last in my schedule consisting of cardio and weight workout routines. After that I go to my stretching and preparing for labor workouts, while still continuing my normal cardio of now 30 mins on the elliptical 2 days a week and 20 mins walking up and down stairs 3 days a week.
Week 32. As I am finding time to write this about a week later, I am actually about 33 weeks now, but here are the comparisons from 32 weeks.
The top left is my first pregnancy, the bottom left is my second, and the right is my third. Now for the front view from my second and third pregnancies.
The left picture is from my second pregnancy and the right picture is from my third. Besides being WAY more tan with my second pregnancy since it was summer lol you can really see from my belly button in both pictures that I was carrying much lower with my second and I have less of a roundness at this stage. I don’t know if the working out and starting out with more and stronger abs this time around has anything to do with it, but at least so far with this pregnancy I am having a way easier time not peeing myself while jumping around or laughing. In my second pregnancy about this far along I was having the hardest time when it came to my bladder and even just walking around in general since my left leg would randomly stop working. This pregnancy I am still just facing issues with breathing since she is so high up.
Workout wise I am still following the same routine and for stairs I am still walking up and running down. I honestly thought for a brief period of time that I would be able to continue the walk up and run down well into February, but it is now to the point that my knee joints, feet, and Achilles tendons are starting to really hurt and strain from the added weight. I started at 135 lbs with this pregnancy and now I am at 160 lbs. By the end of the week it takes about the whole weekend for the pain to go away in my feet and knees, allowing me to start again pain free, but by the end of doing stairs Monday I start to feel the pain again. I only have to power through the rest of this week and next week and then I’ll be into February where I have written down to start my walking up and walking down the stairs. I am hoping that the slower motion and the lesser amount of times going up and down will keep the pain away until it is time for labor and then I have my six weeks of recovery time.
Made it to 30 weeks. Not much has changed besides now waking up to go pee in the middle of the night up to at least two times now and what I would say are the usual third trimester complaints of acid re-flux, not being able to breathe, hard to get comfortable, and starting to get really tired. Here are my 30 weeks comparison photos.
At night I look a lot more pregnant than the picture on the right, but I take my bi-weekly photo first thing in the mornings for consistency. As you can see I am definitely carrying different this time than the first two. The top left photo is my first pregnancy, the bottom left is my second, and the right is my third. I look and feel like I am carrying higher this time. I don’t know if it is because my abs were a lot stronger before I got pregnant this time around or if working out is holding her up more, but I am thankful so far for not having too much pain when I walk around and for so far not losing motor skills in one of my legs. Although since she is higher, she is definitely a bigger problem than the other two were when it comes to trying to breathe.
Here is another front view from my second pregnancy at 30 weeks and my third at 30 weeks. I keep posting these because it is so interesting to me how different my body is carrying and you can really see it from these front views so far.
*Below is my workout schedule I have been working on.
I am now done with this workout routine I made for myself 26 weeks ago. Near the end it definitely got harder and I had to modify more and more, but it was a challenge that has felt worth the draining effort so far.
Above is my new workout schedule I have made myself for the remaining of this pregnancy. I got rid of the Saturday workouts to give myself more of a break. I also got rid of the P90X workouts completely. Those hour long workouts were beginning to become way too much. I kept the thirty minute Core De Force workouts for Mondays and Thursdays, leaving out the forty and fifty minute workouts out from that program on this schedule besides the one named Kickbutt, which is about forty minutes and is not too intense when the push ups are modified or excluded. I scheduled 21 Day Fix Extreme for only one day a week on Wednesdays instead of twice a week. Tuesdays and Fridays I added a program new to this pregnancy, but not to me, the simple 21 Day Fix. I plan to follow this schedule for 7 weeks if I can, but put in a week that I can take out if it begins to get too hard near the end of the 7 weeks. The week I put in to take out is week 6 with two plyometric workouts, since if the workouts in general are becoming too difficult I am pretty confident that the plyo workouts will be near impossible to complete.
After Those 6 or 7 weeks, I plan to finally slow down for the next 3 or 4 doing the stretching workouts I have written down and scheduled above to get ready for labor and to keep away from jumping around or anything like that so I don’t go into preterm labor. During those weeks though I still plan to do my cardio workouts like I have been doing throughout this pregnancy, but in February my walking up the stairs and running down will be changing to just walking stairs. My thirty minutes on the elliptical, half standing up and half sitting down, I do not plan to change yet, unless my knees or body need me to.
Only 3 more days until Christmas!!! Yesterday I reached 28 weeks in this pregnancy and I am definitely feeling it. My thyroid levels are actually slowly improving as our baby’s thyroid is now starting to work for her and she needs less from me, but I am starting to feel crazy tired already, which is highly frustrating. I honestly thought I would have more time and would be fine tired wise until up to the last month of the pregnancy or at the most two months, but oh well, got to play the cards you are dealt.
I am still working on my old workout schedule and my cardio workouts have not changed yet, but in two more weeks I am going to be working from a new workout schedule that I made more for the third trimester and in one week I’m going to start running down the stairs and walking up. The big change that was made this week has been my push-ups…. I have been doing normal push-ups up until now, but last week I had some pain in my lower right hand side that stuck with me for a few hours. I did research and it said that if you start having pain with any type of exercise, especially exercises that work your abs, you need to stop that exercise and modify it. So increasing my research I learned that the safest push-ups in the third trimester that are recommended are wall push-ups, so I have resorted to doing those for my workouts instead. It is always defeating when you have to back off and slow down more and more when your body is telling you to, but I know I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to our baby. So you got to do what you got to do for your children and health no matter how much you mentally don’t want to, which I am happy to do since motherhood always comes first to me.
Here are my comparison photos from my three pregnancies at 28 weeks. The top left is from my first, the bottom left is from my second, and the right is from my third.
Here is a front view from my second and third pregnancies.
You can definitely see my abs still trying to hold my stomach in as much as possible. So far honestly this pregnancy has been the easiest to deal with, but I know of course that the further along you get the harder things get. The one thing that is becoming crazy difficult right now is breathing, especially at night because she loves to stretch up by my lungs. I never had such an issue breathing with the other two, but I also felt like they were lower.
Once again as the weeks go by and more modifications are placed we will see where things lead to and how much my body continues to change.
Made it to 26 weeks and now am an emotional mess. I am keeping up with my workouts except the exercises that have me on my back, those I cut out. I have resorted to just running stairs and doing my mobile elliptical since it has turned winter. My stairs have decreased to a 15 minute time since one day I tried to do 20 and I actually burnt myself out, which I have never done on stairs before. I felt like I was going fast when I got to 18 minutes, but my legs would only help me go up at a slow walk. So instead of pushing myself to exhaustion like I’m trying not to do and to try to save my knees from the added weight they are not used to, I decreased it. In January I plan to run down the stairs, but walk up for the 15 minutes and then in February I plan to just walk the stairs so I don’t fall or risk the baby’s life, but still work on staying active. I’ve never been this far along in the winter before in a pregnancy, so it is all a big adjustment to me to just having to keep the working out inside away from the extreme cold, snow, ice, and never ending darkness since the nights are so long right now.
These photos are from week 24 of all my pregnancies. First pregnancy top left, second bottom left, and third right.
These photos are from week 26 of all my pregnancies. Once again first top left, second bottom left, and third right.
This next comparison is from my second pregnancy and this pregnancy in a front facing view at 26 weeks. I’m sharing this comparison because I find it very interesting how different my stomach looks in both of them, even my belly button. My belly in the second pregnancy was definitely getting rounder at this point in the pregnancy, when in this one my belly isn’t quite there yet, and it looks like my abs are still trying to hold it all in on the sides.
These are two back views at 26 weeks of this pregnancy. My back muscles are still trying to hold in there and so are my shoulder muscles. When I don’t try to super flex you can barely tell I’m holding a big belly in the front.
So fitness is still progressing as much as it can be without being too dangerous for the baby. We went and saw our little one last week and she was weighing at about one pound and thirteen ounces. She was curled up sideways right under my diaphragm though, which explains why sometimes it is almost impossible to breathe, but makes me feel loved that she likes to be so close to my heart. Here are a couple of pictures of her.
Well now is sadly the time that I was hoping was never going to come. It is time for me to start backing off a little on my working out/exercising. These last few weeks I have felt way too emotional, depressed, and exhausted. It is getting to the point where I can’t even make it through the day without breaking down and crying and wanting to just lay on the floor and pass out. Even during working out or running lately I’ve stopped now more often than not to cry my eyes out cause of having such a hard time trying to finish. I know that I shouldn’t be this exhausted and tired during just the end of my second trimester. This is supposed to be the happy trimester where I feel great and energized again until the last one hits me. At first I thought that it may just be hormones that are causing me to be way too emotional and making it so I can’t hold myself together, but when I thought more into it I realized that my body is just not wanting to carry itself, and if my body is having this hard of a time functioning right now, I’m worried about the health of the baby.
This is hard for me to do because I am so used to pushing myself to my breaking point, and that is what I have been doing lately, but I have another life in me to worry and think about. This is the most I have done with any of my pregnancies. Some days sometimes more than three times a week consists of hour and a half long workouts that are the same as I was doing before I got pregnant. I had it in my head wrongly that I should be progressing just like I usually do when I push myself during exercise. Usually you get better and stronger, and it is hard to wrap your head around the fact that when you are pregnant you slowly digress and things get harder. I was doing so good for so long that I honestly wasn’t expecting the time to slow down to come so soon. I know I need to be easier on myself mentally because it is just part of the process, but it is hard when I’m always in such desperation to reach my goals and to be the best I can be, which sometimes I know that the me I want to be can be unrealistic. Multiple times my husband has told me that I’m going to kill myself with how much I’m trying to do at one time and how much I push myself. But I realize that my ultimate dream and goal is to be the best mother I can be, so I need to back off for now until my baby’s life isn’t in the brink. I want my body to be able to give her everything she needs and I need to be in a healthier happier state of mind especially with the holidays coming up so I can be the mother I need to be for my other two kids and for the baby when the time comes. Pushing myself to exhaustion and getting upset at myself for not seeing progress isn’t going to help anyone at all, least of all myself. Our baby’s life is more important to me than my desperation to not look like a failure and to feel some kind of success and self worth.
So I’m slowly going to back down. For example after my hour long workout today I ran 2 miles instead of 3.5, which I don’t mind at all since it is starting to get freezing out making it harder to run anyway. Depending on the day and what my body tells me will depend on how I take my workouts. I might cut my hour ones in half or my biking or running mileage down on some days. Other days that I have half an hour workouts I’m probably going to do the whole workout and cardio routine like I have been if I feel up to it, until I hit near the end of my pregnancy and know I need to cut way down. I’m beginning to see that maybe P90x and 21Day Fix Extreme and Core De Force may not be the best to do when you are 36 weeks pregnant. I will just pay more attention and listen to my body and give my body what it needs when that time comes like I am deciding to do now.
Here are my comparisons for week 20 in all my pregnancies and week 22 in all my pregnancies. We will see if I manage to keep up with the staying more fit this time around like I have been, which may be possible since I am still and still plan to do more in the fitness department than my other two pregnancies even with backing down a little.
As you can tell in my arms in the second set of pictures that I am way more muscular than I was in previous pregnancies. The picture of me in the blue shirt right above is from my second pregnancy and my arms just look so small to me compared to now. so weight lifting and push ups and things like that that I have been doing has definitely helped with keeping the muscles there.