Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pumping For Breastmilk

Ah yes, time to discuss breastfeeding and pumping.  Where shall I begin??? 
(I apologize ahead of time I'm very sleepy therefore this is not one of my more colorful posts)

    Unlike quite a few of my friends I guess I will say I got lucky and Gabriel had a perfect latch as soon as he was born.  I knew aleady that I was going to breastfeed.  Two reasons; 1- It was healthiest 2- It's FREE!  How can you pass up free?  I was given the opportunity for him to room in with me so that I could freely breastfeed him, until he was taken away to the NICU that is.  Once he was in the NICU I was able to visit and feed him for the next 24 hours that I was in the hospital.  After that he would be placed on formula and bottle fed.  That did not make me happy.  But I knew he needed to eat and eat a lot to help flush his system and get his kidneys going as well.  I would breastfeed when I could during my visits.  There was one moment I was sweating it out because suddenly he didn't recognize my nipple and was screaming hungry but would not latch on.  We went at it for 5 mins before he finally latched on.
   Once I got home I would pump like a mad woman to get a dripple of colostrum.  I saved every drop of it and brought it to NICU and they would give it to him.  I was worried my milk wouldn't come in and my aunt and everyone else reassured me that I would know when it came in.  Sure enough I woke up one morning and my boobs were like lumpy bricks and hurt like hell!!  Pumping was nearly impossible at that point.  I ended up using a bag of frozen veggies to take down the swelling.  That aided in a great let down for me.  So for me, and it rings true to this day (14 weeks later) hot or cold will cause me to have a let down.  I generally go to warmth first with a heating pad when I'm really engorged and having trouble letting down.  I was up pumping every 2 hours in the beginning and it would take forever sometimes to pump an appropriate amount.  I immediately began over producing.  I was unsure how much I should be producing and after reading a number of things online it seems that there is no right number just as long as you have enough to feed your baby and he or she is thriving.  I personally over produce milk.  I can pump 1000cc-1500cc (33-50oz) in a day.  Production is on the lower side on the days that I have him latch.  I normally have him latch in the wee hours of the morning because that's easier for me and I can easily fall asleep while he nurses.  For a while I've been pumping every 3-4 hours.  There are a few random times I can go to the max of 6 hours before I'm engorged, painful, and can hardly lift my arms above my head.  
The Lansinoh bottles have my preferred nipple.  There are no latch issues after these.














Has My Supply Suffered?
  Thus far I have not had my supply suffer.  I made sure to track my production over several weeks to make sure I was producing enough throughout the day.  I'm not the healthiest eater on earth and I don't eat as many times a day as I should due to the nature of my job.  I believe that key for me has been the fact that I can easily down a gallon of water a day.  I drank water A LOT while pregnant so I just continued out of force of habit once I began pumping.  I always have a container of water while I'm pumping and make sure that I drink while pumping.   I also make sure to massage my breasts to help with let down.  I make sure to gently rub out any knots that are present due to me waiting too long to pump.  As my baby hit growth spurts and began drinking more my body automatically began producing what was needed to feed him.  Also, when he nurses, he could never drink enough to empty me so I'll allow him to nurse one side while I pump the other.  That greatly assists in a let down.  Once he's done nursing I will pump the side he was nursing on to make sure it's empty.  From my experience if I don't empty or I'm too stressed and don't have a proper let down my breasts angrily fill back up with way more milk than usual.  Me skipping pumpings, wearing tighter bras, and sleeping on my stomach only result in extra stimulation of my breasts therefore a faster production of milk. 

Uneven Supply

   In the beginning my left side out produced my right side to the moon and back. This was a bit concerning. After consulting with google I realized one side producing more was normal.  For some people it would catch up.  To remedy this I had my baby nurse more on the lower producing side, pumped when he was done, and massaged until nothing more was left.  Over a few weeks time this worked and production caught up.  My left side will always produce more, but the right side is only a few cc's off. 

How Long Do I Pump For?

   In the beginning I was doing marathon sessions because I could not master the art of let down.  I would stare at the bottles trying to will a milk let down and desperately wanting the bottles to fill up.  I finally learned that once I relax I had no problem. I started taking that time to look through my phone, play a game, look at facebook, or text a friend.  Before I knew it my bottles would be full.  I began being able to pump with a full let down for 20mins and then the unspeakable happened.  MY NIPPLES CRACKED!  OMG they cracked.  It was painful.  It was like when your lips are chapped and they slightly crack or crack in the corners of your mouth.  I was tempted to stop everything when that happened.  But after reading it seems everyone was encouraged to keep it up.  I began using more and more lanolin onintment to help out, but honestly it didn't help me.  I wanted to use vaseline but because that's not food grade I skipped out on that one.  What helped?  After pumping, for way longer than 20mins, on a very low suction setting, I soaked my nipples using shot glasses, in saline solution for 5 mins.  After that I would wipe a litttle breast milk on them and let them air dry.  It took 2 weeks, but they finally healed.  Oh, ointment wise I tossed the expensive lanolin ointment to the side and began using coconut oil instead.  currently I have a brusied nipple so I'm back to taking it easy with longer sessions. 

My Pumping Schedule

   Normally I wake up to pump at 2am or a little later.  I'm up for about an hour pumping, measuring, bagging and cleaning everything.  My baby never fails in waking up just as I'm ready to lay back down again so my husband rolls out of bed and gets him a bottle.  The nights my husband works I have to suck it up and get a bottle.  At 2am I have to fully drain myself so he takes a bottle.  I pump again at 5 or 6am.  The baby may wake up though at 4:30 and 5:30am.  If that happens I breastfeed.  At those times he eats less and allowing him to latch soothes him and he's back to sleep very quickly.  I've learned to pump in the car.  Yes, in the car.  Because of my work schedule interferes with my pumping schedule I tend to pump while drivng to work.  I get in the car, strap on my hands free bra, start up the pump, cover myself with a jacket and off I go.  I will also do this when we are out for the day or on long car rides.  I have no choice. Once I get to work I pump again around 10am, 3 or 4pm, and 7pm or on the way home at 8pm.  Once I get home I pump again at 10:30pm and I may pump at midnight or skip until 2am. 
   Pumping gets old and I'm so exhausted when I wake up in the middle of the night to pump.  I honestly managed to prop myself up in a forward leaning position and fell asleep pumping one night.  My pump shuts off after 60mins.  I woke up in a panic and was for sure I had strangled my nipples and cut of circulation after pumping that long.  It was okay though.  Bottles were seriously full, but the girls were okay. 

Pumping While Working

   Thankfully my job is very accomodating.  It's hard at times for me to break away and pump because I'm a vet tech at an emergency clinic so I can't always break away exactly on time if I'm dealing with a critical patient.  The second I can disappear my co-workers are cool and I'm off to pump.  Luckily I can take one of the computers and work on things while pumping.  Again, having something to do helps me take my mind of puming to have a let down. 


My freezer before the deep freezer
Milk Storage

   I generally keep 10 bags in the refrigerator at all times.  The average bag has 4-5oz in them.  I freeze the rest.  I produced so much our freezer was full.  We could no longer keep food in it and then the ice cubes were thrown out.  As of yesterday (11/8/14) we got a 5.2 cubic feet deep freezer just to keep my milk in.  It's great, I'm just wondering how I'm going to effeciently rotate milk.  My oldest mlik is from October 1st.  I think every week and a half we send a tub of frozen milk to daycare.  It frees up some space, but it's never enough. At this point I should buy stock in breastmilk bags. 

Which Pump Do I Use?

   I hated the pump at the hospital and thankfully brought my own with me.  I use the Lansinoh Sginature Pro pump.  It has held up quiet nicely.  I have an option of battery or plug in.  When I had to travel 8 hours with it and realized the battery portion didnt work we got an adapter for the car, I called the company and one was overnighted to my desitnation with no problem and the defective one returned at no cost to me. 


















Lastly, I have Breast Implants.

   I've had implants for a very long time.  Mine are within the tissue, not under the muscle.  I had concerns about being able to produce, but my doctor told me he didn't think it would be a problem.  My implants are perfectly seated without having disrupted my mammary glands.  It doesn't seem as though breast feeding has effected them either.  They sit the same way even when they are perfectly soft and empty. 



Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Last 12 Weeks With A New Baby

My Last 12 Weeks With Gabriel

   These last 3 months have been very life changing.   I was concerned about being a disconnected mom because frankly I can be that way with people in real life.  It scared me and my husband assured me he was prepared to step in should that occur or postpartum depression kick in.  Thankfully that wasn't the case.  

Our First Night Home

   The first night was not so bad at all.  Gabriel began sleeping a lot at night in NICU.  I was adjusted to waking up numerous times in the middle of the night to pump anyway. One of our major issues was that Gabriel was allowed to sleep on his tummy in NICU and was never swaddled.  Once we got him home and attempted to swaddle and place him on his back it was a screaming match.  He was very uncomfortable, his startle reflex was very strong, and if he fell asleep on his tummy on one of us, the second we placed him down he would wake up screaming.  I read in numerous places that many other moms had the same problem and just felt it wasn't worth the fight and allowed their children to sleep on their tummy.  Also my ultimate plan was to have him in his crib right away, but while in NICU Gabriel was able to push himself all over the place in his little box, so we were scared of what may happen alone in a large crib.  He has slept in the bassinet beside our bed.  The only reason he's still there is because his room is as cold as the beer walk-in in a gas station.  Back to sleeping......His pediatrician was adimate that gabriel sleep on his back because the doctor had lost 4 babies to SIDS and wanted to prevent it in any way possible.  I was concerned about the screaming and overheating my baby would do when I attemped to let him scream it out.  The doctor said to go 20min rounds of crying then comforting.  So one night I buckled down and had a go at it.  IT WORKED! I felt bad letting him cry that way but it was worth it.  It worked.  We had a relapse here and there and a few nights I placed him in his crib, but I then really got no sleep and watched the monitor on silent because he would just keep screaming.  But we have it down now and thankfully that horrid startle reflex has finally worn off.  I did it because had we had a SIDS incident I would feel as though I did everything possible to prevent it.  I would have never forgiven myself for allowing tummy sleep when it was correctable. 

   Luckily for us Gabriel has been a very easy baby.  He's always very happy and is a major cuddler.  The only time he cries is when he's hungy or just fussy because he's fighting sleep.  He loves bath time.  He is so happy while getting a bath and just smiles and kicks his feet.  We couldn't have asked for a happier baby.  

My Personal Recovery

   My body was very slow to heal.  My pelvis hurt so bad most days that I could hardly walk up right and I had major cramping.  I was really upset because I thought I would heal faster than that, but I think the stress I went through during that first week did me in and I wasn't sleeping.  After my aunt left my eating fell off as well.  My aunt was amazing and cooked every day for me while she was here and left food for me to have for several days after her departure.  I thought that I would be able to get right back on my feet and hit the gym, but I couldn't.  I couldn't do anything.  My body was a wreck and I was in pain daily.  Let us not forget the awful rash that broke out across my back days after I left the hospital.  OMG it was horrible and itched like an S.O.B.  During pregnancy I developed eczema and thankfully the cream I had for that helped to calm the rash, but other than that I was taking benedryl at night because that's when it seemed to itch the most.  It took me about 4 weeks to be able to leave the house.  I remember one outting we went to the mall and I could have swore the bottom of me was going to fall out. The things that go on down there are not so pretty, especially if you've been stitched back up.  Thankfully my tear was minor.               SIDE NOTE - They took so long to stitch me back up because they were being perfectionists that after a while, without any filter on my mouth, and I scremed in my head a little as I let out the biggested annoyed sigh ever!  I couldn't believe I was doing that to people that were taking great care in making sure one of the most precious parts of me was properly back together again.  It was so loud, coupled with a facial expression I'm sure, that everyone looked up at me. In an instant I said, "Wow, you guys are really good at your job.  I'm glad you're perfectionists." (insert big drugged smile)
   Three months later I've not been back to the gym yet.  I've dropped weight each week.  With as much as I'm pumping and breastfeeding I'm sure I'm burning the maximum 500 calories a day.  My eating could be better and I'm trying.  My job doesn't allow for the best eating habits especially if we are slammed with emergencies, critical patients, or I'm stuck in surgery all day.  But the workout will resume again shortly.  I have to.  I can't keep the extra weight on.  I gained 30-35lbs.  Most of it is gone, I just need to tone up and shrink down my legs and tighten my stomach.  It's amazing how your belly can be like jello.  I tighten up my abs, touch, and get grossed out because there's no longer any tone or definition.  

Back To Work At 7 Weeks

   I had to get back to work.  I love my baby, but I had run through the money that I'd allowed myself for maternity leave.  Back to work I went and off to daycare Gabriel went.  My husband has a client that runs an in home daycare that had great reviews.  I made a visit one day and I was impressed.  Her daycare was like walking in to kindergarden.  She runs a very structred learning environment.  Children don't just sit in front of the tv and have random playtime all day.  They actually learn.  They learn to develop all of their skills there very quickly and she makes sure that children are meeting their milestones.  They also get one on one time everyday to make sure of this.  I had no anxiety about placing my little bundle of joy in her hands.  He has done well there and recently flipped himself over for the first time.  When I got his midday log I wanted to cry because I'd intended on working on that skill when I got home that night.  He's learning quickly.  He goes to daycare 3 days a week and the rest of the time I'm off of work and have him.  Incase you are wondering I work three 12 hour shifts.  My husband is a personal trainer and is able to set his schedule so that he can drop him off and pick him up.  So things have worked out well.  I'm also glad that she knows how to handle breastmilk.  I was concerned that some places could careless about how to handle it and how long it was good for.  I'm able to drop off a frozen stash to her and she does what's needed.
   My job is thankfully understanding about me pumping and I have no problem being able to pump while at work.  They now also understand the longer I'm held back from pumping the longer it takes me.  Therefore I get to pump on time.  I don't have to pump every 2 hours.  Every 4 hours is my max to go without pumping.  Anything after that and I'm a soggy mess. I'll blog later about that whole pumping and production thing.

Overall

The last three months have been okay.  We all adjusted quickly.  We now change diapers and dress Gabriel in record time.  We know what goes in the diaper bag and can prepare it quickly.  Getting buckled in to the car seat is also quick.  Middle of the night cries get old quickly though.  I get 5 hours of broken sleep a night.  I try to get to sleep by 10pm.  That turns in to midnight on a lot of nights.  I'm awake again by 230am in order to pump and without fail the baby wakes up as soon as I'm done.  At that point I wake up dad and tell him to get the bottle because I go back to sleep.  Depending on the night I could then be awake at 430, 530, and finally at 615.  On a regular night I wake up again at 630am to pump before getting dressed for work.  Gabriel wakes up right before I walk out the door and I wake up dad and shove the baby and bottle in his face.   I've also mastered late night breastfeeding and sleeping when I don't feel like making a bottle.  That mainly happens on the nights that my husband works over night security until 5am.  I don't know where the super human power comes from for me to run off of so little sleep and function on such a high level at work.  I do believe now that moms come with super powers.  Numerous nights I've thought about how freaking sick and tired I am of pumping and think of just quitting all together.  Then the cost of formula and the fact that Gabriel has severe upset stomach with formula, we found that out on an attempt to supplement early on in laziness, crosses my mind and I suck it up and hook myself up like a human cow.  I'll continue because it's FREE and mainly because it's healthiest for my baby.
   I have no major complaints.  I think my animal husbandry skills all these years have more than prepared me for taking care of a human baby.  I look at him daily and just think of how incredible it is that we've created such a beautiful baby.  I look at his sleeping face and wonder who he will be one day.  I think back to all I endured to bring him in this world and KNOW that it was all worth it.  He will be 13 weeks old on 10/27/14 and thus far he recognizes me and dad, smiles appropriately, will coo back and forth with you, tracks people and objects, flips over on to his back, prefers to stand, holds his head up, grabs toys and mommy's hair, and is now drooling like crazy, we believe he's starting to teethe.  Everyday is a new adventure with him.  Time is quickly passing by. I find myself in the moment attempting to slow down time as much as possible. 

Questions?
Feel there's something I haven't discussed in detail?  Have specific questions or something you'd like me to specifically blog?  Pictures you'd like to see?  Please let me know.   Find more pictures and updates on Instagram @alonnajames .
  
 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

July 27-28th 2014 - I have a BABY BOY!

   Alright, I know I haven't updated any of this in the last several months because I've been through so much.  But here goes.

Labor and Delivery

   Sunday July 27th, I'd been having contractions, braxton hicks over the last week and was sent home from the hospital twice.  Sunday afternoon my contractions were painful, I called the doctor and was told to time them for the next hour.  I did and they were 4mins apart for the full hour.  My friend was at home with me while my husband and aunt ran to the grocerty store.  I felt bad that she had to sit and watch me go through the labor pains, but I must say, Kelly was very comforting, rubbing my back when I had one.  As soon as everyone was back from the store we went to the hospital.  I was hooked up to the machines, my contractions continued to get stronger and more painful.  The nurse came in and said she could see them every 3-4 mins on the monitor.  The resident finally came and checked me.  I WAS NOT DILATED any more that I had been over the last week.  I was in shock.  And then began crying my eyes out when I was sent home! Home?  You've got to be kidding me?! What am I to do at home?  Wait for my water to break? How much closer could these contractions get?  Or go home and wait to pass out from all the labor pain?  Take your pick, but I was being turned away.  I went home and continued to have contractions every 4mins for the entire night.  I was in major pain.  For the ladies.....imagine your worst period cramp escalate to 100 and then hold it in your fist and then there was a secondary pain, a white hot shooting pain down my hip flexors on both sides that prevented me from standing straight up.  While having this I would run to the bathroom because you have an overwhelming feeling of pressure and a need to push something out.  I was in so much pain and so angry that I was sent home I almost pulled the towel rack off the walll and had to stop myself from punching a hole in the wall.  And ladies, you will void everything!  At least I did.  Eating was no longer a concern.  You feel nothing but pain and anxiety.  Me and my husband and my poor aunt had to deal with my back and forth all night, my odd pain noises, and cries of frustration.  I knew that having this baby at home was not an option because I tested positive for strep B and that could be a fatal complication to the birth of my child.  I knew I would have to have IV penicillin on board before delivering.   I held out until 8am.  My husband called and explained what had happened all the day before and all through the night, they asked me to come in and I said I refuse to come in to be turned away they have to do something.  She said okay they would give me meds so that I could rest.  I managed to get dressed and as I waited for those two to get ready was on the floor screaming because now I would swear someone was ripping my pelvis apart.  I suddenly screamed out, "We have to leave right FUCKING NOW!".    Off we went.  My husband blew every red light on the way, with caution of course, thankfully we didn't get tickets in the mail later, and my aunt hung in there for the wild ride to the hospital as I was in the back trying to climb the seats with no where to go.

Finally We're Here!
   As soon as I arrrived, they already knew me becaused I'd been in and out so much, the doctor came straight away to check and said I was dilated to 5cm.  They began right away hooking up my IV, fluids and starting the antibiotics as well as great medication called Nubain.  I was able to finally get some rest and no longer felt any of my contractions.  After the fact I was told by my husbband that according to me there was a purple elephant in the room and some other statements of delusion were made as well.  I stayed down in labor and delivery until was dilated to 7 which took hours.  Put it this way, I was admitted around 8am and did not have my baby until a little after 8pm. 

Epidural
 Once I was moved upstairs I had the option of the epidural.  At that point the nubain was wearing off, I asked for more and got a half dose and was debating the epidural.  At this point my body was done with the pain I'd endured over the last 4 days.  I had reached my limit and approved the epidural after speaking with the anesthesiologist and weighing all the risks, especially since i have a bad back.  Let me tell you, that epidural is no joke and you feel a few things with that going in and will most certainly have a contraction as they are doing it.  As soon as it's in you have instant relief and numbness to both legs.  Seems that you'll be numb more on one side than the other.  
Ladies don't believe when you are told that you can't turn down your epidural.  Yes you can.  If you can't feel even the pressure of your contractions or atleast flex your foot and wiggle your toes, in my opinion, it's too much.   I had mine cut back and it was prefect.  I'm thankful that I made the choice to have one because they had to add pitocin because my contractions were not strong enough and I was super slow to dilate. That means you'll be in even more pain.  Speaking of pain.  The penicillin hurts like a bitch going in IV and I had 3 bags of it. You must have a bag every 4 hours and they run it in quickly.

Time to Push
   Now this was awkward.  They kept checking me and eventually had to break my water and finally I was at 10!!  Then they say okay it's time to push.  In my head i'm thinking, push? Just push? That's it?  No more warning or preparation? Just push and instantly you have an addition to your life?  Suddenly my bed  is transformed and I'm being told to wait for the pressure and just push.  One nurse has one leg, my husband has the other, very dead, heavy leg, and I pushed.  Three rounds of pushing and he was out!  I remember him coming out and me looking at a mini me.  My eyes about popped out of my head at how much this little person I've been carrying around looked like me!  They laid him on me and he instantly stopped crying and got comfortable until they took him away to have everything done.  This was all in the same room of course.  Then he was turned over to my husband and my aunt while I was stitched back together.  Yes, I had a small tear that took them forever to perfect and I'm thankful for that. When asked by the nurse how I felt, I replied, "Hungry!"  lol I was given a hospital grade turkey sandwich and juice.

Time to Move
   They turned my epidural off the second he was out and I had to wait for that to wear off in order to get to the bathroom and pee because they continued to threaten me with a catheter if i didn't urinate soon.  Finally I couldn't sit anymore any braced myself to get to the bathroom.  I didn't think about the mess I would trail until the nurse came in and caught me getting up.  Oops!  Oh well, I was cleaned up, urinated, ice packed, had my baby in hand and was on my way upstairs to my room.  

The Devistation
   Once we are moved in to our new room for the next 2 days they take baby Gabriel away in to the nursery to start running his blood tests and doing his first complete physical.  He was given back to me fairly quickly.  Then the doctor comes in with the bad news.  I couln't keep my baby with me because he was jaundice and had to be placed under lights.  I was okay with that.  I gave him up and they told me I'd be able to breastfeed him as needed .  But early that morning I was then told he was not responding and would be sent to the NICU.  I was okay for a few moments.  I was explained what happened and why and asked all my questions and was okay.  I thought, well I tell people these things everyday at work with their animals and I totally understood everything that was happening.  But suddenly the tears and devistation kicked in.  Although it was all mapped out and rational in my head I couldn't stop my overwhelming emotional reaction.  I realized that my body had gone through so much over the last 40 weeks to bring this little boy in to the world and I'd be leaving with nothing.  I would have to leave my precious baby behind.  I was hurt and confused and felt helpless.  The tears began to freely flow and my heart broke.

NICU
   Gabriel stayed in NICU for the first week of his life blindfolded and under lights in a little box.  He was having his heels pricked constantly for blood and I felt horrible for him.  Thankfully his time on IV fluids was short lived.  I would go home and pump like a mad woman to produce milk for my little one.  I traveled back and forth to the hospital at all hours  including 3am.  My husband was taking this just as hard as I was and would go to the hospital at all hours as well. I constantly brought in milk.  My husband and I would sit, watch, and wait for Gabriel to wake up so that we could feed and hold him for maybe 15mins.  It broke my heart to leave him there.  He would cry as he was bliindfolded again to be placed back in his box with nothing but a diaper on.   At one point I about refused to go to the NICU.  I went anyways and broke down in tears in the hallway.  His time there was effecting me and I was getting very depressed. I cried all the time wanting nothing more than to have my baby boy at home.  His test results played with my mind because they would improve and then decline again.  The blood levels were eventually low enough for him to come home as long as I promised to return the next day for blood work.  And to see the pediatrician right away. No problem for me, just give me my baby!






Friday, July 25, 2014

Gender Let Down During Pregnancy

Gender Let Down

Yes, when I found out I was having a boy at 12 weeks I was devistated.  I said nothing for the rest of the ultrasound appointment, didn't speak to my husband on the way out, hopped in the car and drove home crying my eyes out.  Of course it would be a boy because I wanted a girl so badly.  And even worse my husband felt as though I had a totally irrational reaction to it.  Let's just add to it, I felt like a horrible person for not wanting what was growing inside of me just because it was a boy.  It's not his fault, he didn't ask to be brought in to this world.  I'm supposed to be his protector and yet wanted nothing to do with him anymore.  Yes, that's how I felt.  That is my truth.  I won't hide it.  And I cried whenever I was asked about the sex because I was so upset about it and cried even harder because I felt guilty for having these horrible feelings about my baby. 

I read articles that said it would take time, my feelings were normal and if I couldn't get a grip to go speak with someone.  I then explained to my husband all the reasons I wanted a little girl and they were based off of my childhood with the mother daughter bonding, dressing up, make-up, pageants, doing hair, modeling, horseback riding and gymnastics.  The way I looked at my mom while she got ready to go out.  I wouldn't have any of that with a boy.  The view I had on parenting went out the window.  I felt empty handed.  I had to find a new view, a new way of doing things.  To think of it, growing up I don't have a clue how my mother and brother bonded.

It took me a month to get a grip on my feelings and stop crying everytime I thought about the fact that the baby is a boy.  My cousins assured me that it would be okay, all their boys are loving, it helped that nobody ever judged me and that I would find our way of bonding easier than I thought I would.  My friend got me started on picking names.  I immediately gravitated towards Gabriel Ethan.  I remember my husband not liking Gabriel and me having a meltdown telling him that I've had no control over my body, my mind or the sex of this baby, the name choice would be MINE!  He easily gave in on that one.  I decided on nursery colors, made myself happy with that even though I spent a small fortune for linens and decor, then the clothes.  I had no clue where to look or how to dress a boy until I came across Carter's.  It was another eye opener for me, this wouldn't be as difficult as I thought it would.  I quickly got a grip on boy's clothing.  I started to pull myself out of it.  I took it day by day and eventually got over the gender let down.

Pregnancy - Not My Cup of Tea

I have to be honest and say that no, pregnancy has not been a beautiful thing for me.  No, I do not think that having a human growing inside of you is super magical and all pixie dust and faries.  That is just my truth for this experience.

I felt as though I've been mislead through life thinking that pregnancy was supposed to be this great and wonderful thing.  Nobody ever spoke of being super sick, swelling, limited range of motion, unable to control your gas (yes I said it), hardly able to eat, horrid heart burn, and the dignity that you'll lose through the entire process.  Nobody discusses the potential depression you'll experience or the let down over finding out your child is not the sex you wanted him or her to be.  I feel like once any of these things happen to you you feel ashamed to let anyone know how you are truly feeling.  You feel guilty for feeling some sort of way about the life growing inside of you.  How are you supposed to share these feelings with a world that says this is supposed to be the greatest 40 weeks of your life?  Your husband is able to see a clear change in you and yet explaining it to him is easier said than done.

This all happened to me.  I began speaking with my friends who thankfully had some, not all, of the same feelings that I was having during pregnancy.  This made me feel so much better.  I then hopped on the internet and began to google all the feelings I was having.  THANK GOODNESS I was not alone.  The light bulb came on and I was happy to feel normal. Not like some horrible soon to be mom.  Reading these blogs and forums helped me to deal with my feelings, how to talk through them and what to do to help myself get over it. Mostly some of these things would just take time.  I easily recognized the depression that was setting in day by day and tried to keep a grip on myself since I noticed it.  It was hard becuase for my first about 20 weeks I had no energy, couldn't do anything for myself and didn't even have enough energy to complete simple projects.  I wasn't myself anymore.  My focus was off, I was in a cloud, remembering things like I had before was impossible and remembering I'd created a list was even worse.  My husband looked at me like, how is this possible? I just couln't function like my normal self anymore.  It was depressing because I'm such an independent person and now had to rely on my husband to do everything for me.  I remember breaking down because he had to wash my laundry.  Let me not forget the fact that I was doing great in the gym and I couldn't even go anymore. My energy level was so poor I was scared to do anything alone, not even grocery shop. I remember almost passing out during check out.  After that I didn't go anywhere without my husband.  The everyday burdens of life were soley on his shoulders.  I'm grateful that he was up for the task and has taken great care of me, our home and even the cat all this time. 

At 39.5 weeks my major issue is being super impatient in getting this kid out.  This body snatcher that has taken over my life all this time.  This thing that is in constant motion inside of me, the one that rings the bell when he's hungry or sends it back when it doesn't agree with him. Oh how much fun this has been. My body is growing tired and weak as the days pass.  It's amazing how much energy and strength women muster up in order to push their baby out in to the world.  I will be honest, the ultrasounds have been amazing, being able to see how much he has grown and just what he looks like.  But none of that will compare to meeting this little one in person.  Soon baby Gabriel, soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

38-39.5 Weeks- Emotions are Running High

I returned to my doctor's office last week for my 38 week visit with an attitude that it was a great waste of my life to even show up.  The night before I'd set up in my mind that I was not going to go so that I could hear more bad news that I'm no closer to delivering the body snatcher inside of me.  Instead I woke up that moring and decided to go.  What else was I going to do with my day?

At this point in pregnancy you get used to checking in, getting weighed, blood pressure being taken and then asked everytime to pee in a cup.  No biggie, off to the bathroom I go.  What happens?  I pee in the cup, wipe, and behold.....my mucus plug!  I got super excited! Certianly that has come out, I must be significantly dilated and OMG labor must be on it's way right?!?!?!  WRONG! Once again! 

I head in to my doctor only to be told i'm hardly dilated and it means nothing.  JOY!  Once again I'm super shot down feeling like this is never going to happen.  Even though at this visit I'm informed that I'm having contractions that I'm not feeling.   Start of contractions?! Plug gone?!  And yet it means nothing?  My emotions are certainly being toyed with.  He made sure to let me know that these are nothing but fake contractions getting my body prepared for childbirth.....at some point down the line....whenever that may be....sigh.

That appointment was on a Thursday and I went the rest of the weekend without being aware of the contractions unless I was touching my belly and could feel it harden because they were not hurting at all.  Sunday arrives and I'm having some discomfort with things, trouble walking because I'm certain at any moment my pelvis is goin to split in half, and at times a little back pain.  I spent most of my day in and out of the stores getting errands and last min baby things finished.   I layed down that night at bed time only to shoot up at 10:30pm with cramping, pain, contractions, sick, running to the bathroom and thinking wtf is going on?!  I calmed down, took a shower, and put my aunt and husband on alert. I then sat up the next few hours counting contractions, the ones that still didn't hurt, until they were pretty consistent with every 4min 30 seconds.  At 1:30 am we're loaded up and headed to labor and delivery with me banking on being sent back home.

OF COURSE I WAS SENT HOME!  Why wouldn't I be?  How incomplete would this series of events be if it wasn't another opportunity for my emotions to be played with like a cat playing with a poor insect before eventually killing it, but not before pulling all of it's legs off?  I was hooked up to monitors, had an ultrasound, and then a physical.  Nothing!  Contractions have stopped, physical revelaed nothing, baby is fine and plenty of fluid still around him.  Back home we go after hours wasted.  Hit the bed at 5am and up for work at 9:30am- 4.5 hours later. 

39 Weeks Check Up

I worked my normal work week and left early the last day of my shift becuase I was having trouble walking with a few of the contractions because they were causing "back labor".  These were then 13mins apart for a while.  I get home and they virtually stop.  

I walk in for my doctor appointment this morning and NOTHING! I promise you my cervix has managed to super glue itself closed again!  At this point I'm emotionally devistated.  I started to cry right in the office.  I didn't want to hear any of it.  I then asked what could I do to help this along?  Could I please be induced?  Anything?!  I was told nothing would be done until I was 41 weeks pregnant.  That is then when they would, "...throw in the towel".  Until then I would have to deal with running to the bathroom twice an hour in the night now, burning hips, and the ever increasing pelvic pain that is now causing me to take baby steps because any stride longer that that made the pain worse.  I would swear to you at the point if i took a larger stride my leg would certainly just dislocate and fall off.  Either way I had to come back again in a week.  A week?  For more bad news?  To endure this emotional abuse? HA!  And I stormed out in tears without another appointment.

What do I do now??

Prepare for the baby? Mani Pedi? Go some place?  Yeah right!  I have all the baby things finished, I just had a mani pedi and walking is just painful.  My options are limited.  In fact after writing this that'll be even less things I'm able to do.  Sigh.....I guess they'll see my face at work on Monday.



37 Weeks - My emotional attachment to being dilated

My Emotional Attachment to Being Dilated - According to my doctor.

I went in for my 37 week check up and was hoping since I was only 3 weeks away from being due that surely there must be some sort of change happening in there bringing me ever so close to delivering this baby!  TMI alert - I was having lots more fluid happening and thought I could have possibly had some sort of partial rupture and knew that the fluid could be tested.  

BOY WAS I EVER WRONG! - Fluid was not from a rupture and I was NOT dilated at all!  I was super upset and the not so nice words started to fly until my doctor stopped me.  He then told me, "You know what it is? It's your emotional attachment to being dilated."  He then explained the plain truth about the situation.  The fact is I could have been 4cm dilated and it wouldn't have mattered at all becuase I was not in active labor and I could stay that way for weeks. So emotionally would I have been even more wrecked finding that out? I could go home that night, cervix super glued shut as it was, and suddenly go in to active labor.   He was right.  What was I to do except for except the facts, suck it up, and move on with my life impatiently awaiting my due date.

At this point I'm tired of the leaking faucet I have going on, tired of not sleeping because I have to run to the bathroom every hour if not more fequently during the night.  I'm still working and at this point if I must get on the floor with an animal, getting up is not only very difficult but painful.  My swelling has increased, my joints are hurting, and I'm suddenly unable to wear my wedding rings due to the fluid retention.   When I sleep my hips and muscles burn like fire causing me to roll every hour.  Makes me feel like a chicken rotating her eggs every so often so they are cooked evenly on all sides.  All I can say at this point is, I'm tired and OVER IT ALREADY!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Baby Room

I can't leave out the baby's room!

If I haven't said it yet, my babys' name is Gabriel Ethan.  I don't like lots of blue blue blue stuff at all.  I went with a desert grey (it has a tan undertone) and a teal/aquaish color.  I think the room is pretty neutral.  The furniture is white.  Here are a few pics of the room.  It's almost done, I'm just missing a few shelves with baskets for the wall, the custom made monogram to go on the wall where the crib is, night stand, and the platform for the bed. I swear it costs a small fortune to get ready for such a little person.  

Oh second baby shower.  My second baby shower was with my family in Baltimore, MD and I was so grateful to get so many much needed things for the baby!   I got much needed things at the other shower too, but this shower finished off the list!  I send a HUGE thank you to all of my family and friends that have helped me get ready to welcome this little guy in to the world. 

My wall unit came from IKEA, that includes the two tall cabinets with drawers, a nightstand, and changing table.  We also got the carpet and overhead lighting from IKEA as well.  The mirrored serving tray and lamp came from Target, at different times.  The crib is from Babies R Us and the crib bedding is from Carousel Designs (www.babybedding.com) out of Georgia.  Oh yea the curtains!  The material was on back order and they are finally being made by the company. The bedding and accent pillows came from Target as well. Mirror and owl hooks came from IKEA too.  The remaining shelving and bed platform will come from IKEA. What can I say, I love that place!



20-35 weeks

I apologize that I have not updated in such a long time. So here we go from 20-35 weeks.

20 week 2 day Ultrasound!!

It's a boy for sure!  The doctor placed the tranducer on my belly and as soon as he did it was clear that we were having a baby for for sure!  He had his butt facing us and we had a clear view of his man parts.  If you are a person that does not want to know the sex, I advise that you look away as they are doing your ultrasound.





















I will be honest with you and say it wasn't very eventful through those weeks.  My eating was on and off, I never had any cravings, and still don't, I was seeing my doctor every 2 weeks, and steadily gaining weight, in an apporpriate way.  I didn't really start showing until I was 28-30 weeks in. Infact at 6 months I even participated in a photoshoot and you could not tell at all that I was pregnant.  I was excited for that!

 At 28 Weeks I went in for a rhogam injection.  It wasn't that bad, but burned a lot.  That same day I also had my routine appointment and a glucose test (sugar tolerance test).  They have you drink a drink, to me it tastes like just a very surgary juice, wait 1 hour and pull your blood exactly an hour after you finished your drink.  I was scheduled for this test 2 weeks prior, but due to flooding here and traffic I was 3 blocks away from the hospital at the time I should have been sitting to have my blood drawn.  It's very time sensitive so if you don't get there in time, then plan on rescheduling your appointment. 
Also at 28 weeks was my first baby shower and the same weekend I got married!  I traveled from Philadelphia to North Carolina for my baby shower and small wedding ceremony. It was a beautiful weekend and I'm so pleased at my dear friend that pulled it all off for me.  Of course our trip was not complete without being delayed one day due to a blown out tire just as we were getting on the highway.

Again, up until this point the most things that changed were just the weight gain, being able to feel the baby move more, finally some belly growth, and I've continued working as a vet tech.  I was moved off the night shift close to 6 months pregnant and placed on day shift as I could not be in radiology or be around for gas anesthesia procedures.  Now on day shift I handle in/out patient things, in house treatments, and training.  It works for me, but there are days I feel like a beach ball rolling around the clinic getting things done.



30 weeks
I woke up one morning and suddenly my belly had changed?!  I walked up to my husband and he looked and agreed something had changed with my belly.  I had no pain, no fluid leaks, nothing like that going on just a dropped sort of look.  I called my dr's office and was asked to come in that afternoon, but I would have to see a different doctor.  She stated that I'd only dropped to (-4), the scale starts at (-5), but that I measured smaller than she would like.

32 weeks
I went in for a growth ultrasound and the baby measured just fine.  There was plenty of fluid around him and he was appropriate weight for how far along we were, which was about 4lbs.
The following day I went in for my doctor visit.  He was okay with my pregnancy progress, did a routine check, and everything was good.  That day I did start to have some of my swelling start early in the morning and both my legs were super swollen.  He was not concerned becuase the swelling was even in both legs lol.  My doctor is so funny at times.  He's very open, matter of fact, not an alarmest, answers my husbands silly questions, wants pregnancy to progress without help unless there is a real risk to mom and/or baby, and always willing to teach.  At this point he feels as though my baby is going to be about 7lbs give or take a little, but not much bigger than that.  Thank goodess for my vagina!





                                                                   35 weeks
Now we are up to date.  I keep gaining steady weight and it's very hard on me.  I've gone from 175 to 200lbs and it's rough.  I don't know how people can carry around so much weight on a regular basis. After long 12-14 hour shifts at work My legs are swollen, my feet feel sore and even my knees hurt. Sleeping at night is very hard now.  Up to maybe 3 weeks ago I could sleep on my back with no problem and now sleeping on my back takes my breath away.  I sleep on my side, but my hips begin to burn and I rotate sides about every hour.  The baby stays on my right side so imagine what my shifting uterus feels like when i switch back to my left.  Painful!  I'm also up just as often to pee.  I swear I hate running to the bathroom.  Getting up and down is such a chore and so is getting in and out of the car and jeep.  I feel like a rollie-pollie.  My breasts have also started to grow AGAIN! How is this possible?!  I'm at the point where I'm over being pregnant and ready to just have this baby already.  I'm also very tired all the time again.  Where is this nesting energy people talk about?  Hasn't happened over here.  Thankfully, knock on wood, I haven't gotten any stretch marks anywhere.  I lube up daily with coconut oil and palmers cocoa butter.  I'm not sure if that saved me or not because according to my genetics I should have had a crap load of them by now.   I've even gone out and sported a bikini several times at the pool. 

Other changes- Now that the baby is super head down he presses on the nerves in my vagina quite frequently and I like to compare this to sciatica of the vagina.  It sends sharp shooting pains down there and wills top you in your tracks!  He also has a great way of rolling up under my rib cage on the right side constantly.  Seems like we are both running out of room here.  Of course my stomach is displaced so the heartburn is horrible!  Tums are my best friend at this point. Eating isn't as easy becuase I can only eat but so much at once.  Most of the time my pasta order for lunch lasts for 3 meals for me.  Oh, how could I forget.....I walk around frequently with my right hip out of place.  This is a feeling that I know for sure because I caused this injury when I was younger in gymnastics.  Not fun at all when it's out.  I can also hear it pop when that never used to happen.  I would have thought that I'd have rip roaring sciatica at this point due to my back problems, but thankfully my lower back has felt pretty good over the last several months.  It's my mid back that hurts now due to proper posture and every growing boobs!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

19 Week Update

Follow me on Instagram if you want to see more - @alonnajames

19 Weeks....Where to begin?

     For the most part I feel like a normal person again.  I will say that I have to pee ALL THE TIME! The smallest amount feels like a gallon is sitting there.  I'm assuming this is mainly because the baby is growing inside of me rather than towards the outside.  I'm hardly showing at all.  I posted a picture last week of what I considered a baby bump and my friend said it looked more as if I had missed a week's worth of crunches.  After looking again, I agreed. lol  Hopefully this baby actually pops soon and then maybe it will take some pressure off of my insides. 
     I have no cravings, which I'm assuming is a good thing.  My weight has pretty much stayed the same as I was pre-pregnancy.  This surprises me because my boobs have really gotten larger, my waist has expanded, I have a slight bump, and of course the baby is growing.  I had to break down this past weekend and order in new bras because I can no longer comfortably fit any of my sports bras or regular bras anymore.  And due to the growth and looming potential growth I've been really good at lotioning up really well every day.  

Sleeping.  That's a Joke!

     Sleeping has been hard.  I can't tell whether my insomnia is back or if it's truly the hormones that have caused the change in my sleeping pattern.  Either way I don't really sleep much day or night. I'm awake just about every hour on the hour and it's no fun.  Getting in a comfortable position is also harder now because my hips hurt when I lay on my side.  I have all kinds of pillows lined up on the bed in attempts at comfort.  There's practically no room left on the bed for my fiance.  The back pain that I was having from a larger chest has started to subside since I'm beginning to get used to the extra weight and am doing my best to practice proper posture as well. 

Toxoplasmosis?

     I've worked with animals just about my entire life including having worked in a shelter with lots of cats for about a year.  Once pregnant I made sure that I requested a test pulled to check my antibody level.  I also own a cat, but I've had him his whole life, he's indoor only, and does not catch gross creatures, and again never steps foot outside.  Even with me not being concerned about my cat my fiance has been on litter box duty since day one.  My doctor called yesterday morning and surprisingly my results were negative!  Negative? Yes, negative meaning I have ZERO exposure to it at all.  I was shocked.  I guess that just means I've been a very good girl in this field and am very vigilant about washing my hands and not putting things in my mouth.  This just means that I will continue to practice with the same precautions and not handle the cat litter at work if at all possible, and if unavoidable, continue doing it with gloves and washing my hands afterward.

Genetic Screening

     Typically genetic screening should be done on both mom and dad during the planning phases of pregnancy to screen for any potential unknowns that your child may be effected by.  My screening was done in 2 phases a month apart and another part of my doctor call yesterday was the good news that I'm clear of any genetic defects!  That makes us a happy camper when it comes to the baby.  He didn't really need to be tested.  Let's say he did have something we would have to carry the same gene in order for it to have the potential of effecting our child. 

What happens next?

    Next week I'm scheduled for an ultrasound to check the development of the baby.  Luckily I can look in on it because I have access to an ultrasound and work.  It's amazing how quickly the baby is growing, moving, and shaping in to looking like a person week by week.  At this point I can feel some motion.  I was really stressed a few days ago and could really feel the motion.  My stress placed a lot of stress on the baby and I have now learned my lesson.  I thought we knew what the sex of the baby was at our 12 week ultrasound, but after looking a few other times I could no longer say 100% whether it was a boy or a girl, so hopefully next week that debate will be put to rest by the doctor.


Friday, February 7, 2014

I'm almost at 16 weeks 4 months 5 to go

I have finally felt much more normal recently. It feels as though the fog has lifted and I'm seeing clearly again. For a while there I thought I was going to slip in to a depression.  It really took a toll on my mental stability and had me wondering if I was ever going to be normal again. And normal at this point is relative.  Mentally I'm back to normal but of course my body is ever changing. There are foods and other things that I still don't tolerate and I have on and off days of nausea and headaches.  I'm finally to the point where I'm ready to get back to working out! Baby steps.

Oh, still no baby bump! 

What's next? 
I have a baby shower in 3 months. I will actually have 2 of them. One up north and one down south. I'm guessing I have to put together a registry? ? I found a list of needs online and quickly closed the tab. It's a bit much to take in. I guess I should start at some point? Or maybe not? I'll wait another month for the ultrasound that should confirm the sex of the baby and go from there. I don't have a clue about nursery decor or color themes. Lord help me. We are moving in April so I guess I can put that part off until then.

So really not too much has changed other than I'm not horribly ill anymore. Oh, I did get round ligament pain and thought my uterus was trying to kill me. When that happens you can feel it move around. So super gross! 



Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'm Pregnant!! Follow My Journey

Well I'm pregnant! (13.5 weeks)  It was totally unplanned, but it's happening now.

I'm the type of person that could live the rest of their life without a child and be totally happy, but I knew when I decided to get married that this would mean having at least one child; I was okay with that.  I just expected this to happen in late 2014 or early 2015.

My Experience thus far?

The first 5-6 weeks were okay, I didn't feel pregnant, no hormonal changes, nothing.  I was working out and doing everything I had been doing before.  I was even proud of my gains in the gym and was lifting better and better every week.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Around 6 weeks I all of a sudden had a major migraine that lasted for about 5 days.  From there I just started feeling like crap.  I started to get really tired, I was so nauseated that eating was not an option for me and I was coming to work sick for every shift with a massive headache (not migraine).  I was really unable to consume anything due to the nausea, I was hypersalivating, dry heaving, and hardly able to get out of the bed without feeling motion sick or the need to run for the toilet.  At 8 1/2 weeks I found myself in the ER.  I woke up that morning, I hadn't eaten much in days nor been able to hydrate much, I showered and all of a sudden felt very week and then my body began to hurt all over.  I felt like I was shutting down.  I called my other half home and we went to the emergency room where I was hooked to IV fluids and given IV zofran to calm down the nausea.  I stayed for several hours, it wasn't fun and I had no intentions of returning.  From there I was put on anti-nausea oral meds so that I could at least eat.  Although I was not vomiting much substance they still said that I had hyperemesis.  I lost 10+ lbs by my 12 week doctor visit.  I was also unable to take any vitamins because they cause me to want to puke.

Crackers?  That's a Joke!

Crackers don't solve anything (in my case) and believe me, if the little person inside of you wants to send their order back up to you, it will happen no matter what you eat!  Believe that!  It didn't matter when I ate, or what I ate, if I was nauseated food was not an option and if I forced myself to eat it was all going to come back up even if it took a few hours. 

13.5 weeks - My current situation

My 24/7 nausea is finally starting to get a little better, not much but a little bit.  I'm no longer sleeping 12-14 hours or more a day.  I'm starting to have small spurts of energy between sleeping hours and am out of the bed more.  I am still not able to run errands alone. I can't depend on my energy levels so if I venture out alone it has to be a short grocery store trip.  I've come borderline to passing out or just puking in the middle of a store because I either reached my energy limit or needed to eat something right away.

Yes, I had an ultrasound done at 12 weeks and well.....I'm not telling what it's supposed to be :-)  I'll wait for my visit at 20 weeks to confirm the sex a bit better at that time.  I'm just happy that I have access to an ultrasound, I took a peek early this morning and I'm almost certain of the sex at this point. 
What do you think it is?  Hope it is?

How Have I Made It This Far So Sick?

Thankfully my wonderful other half has been my saving grace.  He has had to wait on me 24/7.  Remember, for most of this I was unable to even get out of the bed and get food for myself.  I'm no longer able to eat fast food,  because I want to vomit just thinking about it,  so that means quick meals like that are no longer an option and food has to be cooked at home.  There were days where I thought I had energy, would pull things out to do, and without fail be unable to finish.  Things were constantly left all over the house for him to clean up. I don't know how the house would have gotten cleaned, my laundry done, errands, food cooked, the cat taken care of, groceries etc. without him.  I didn't expect such a major blow to my system. I'm thankful everyday I have such a supportive person by my side.

The Emotional Toll

This is life changing for me. I'm super INDEPENDENT!  I don't ask for help or expect help in the least bit.  This experience rendered me so helpless for such a long period of time that it has been a super blow to my ego and confidence. 

What Have I Learned So Far?

I've learned that I'm in it for the long haul with the right person.  The demands I've placed on him, the amount of things I need, followed by the lack of attention I give to him because I'm either too sick or asleep......some men would have just thought that this was all way too much to deal with.  He's in it for the long haul.  Never once did I hear a complaint or once did I hear him say, "will this be over soon" or "how much longer will I have to do this for you".  His focus was on making sure I was as healthy as I could be in my condition.

I just pray that the following weeks to come allow me to get back to normal and that I continue on with a healthy pregnancy.  

Pictures to be posted soon.  Not much going on with my tummy just yet.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Back On My Workout Grind!

I promised the REAL me, Good, Bad and Ugly..............
Drum roooooolllll please!!  YES!  It's true, I'm back on the workout grind.....again.  I'm the worst yo-yo'r I  know. :-(   But I'm on it with a great motivational trainer and partner.  This time I'm getting more into lifting weights, not just my cardio that was doing before.  I'm in it to win it this time.  We all know I'm prone for injury, but this time I have a trainer that I'm working with that knows my alignment and how I work along with what aggravates my back injury.

So, here we go...... STATS:
Currently (here's the horrible honest truth ugh!)
Height: 5'6"
Weight 168lbs (76.36kg)
Bust- 34DD
Waist- 26.5"
Hips - 44"
Pant size loose fitting size 11 ( I actually need new, smaller jeans)

I will add leg and arm measurements in a few days. 
And of course I will post videos- Here is a starting pic for you all






Last 2 days of my Juice fast/cleanse

The Last few days of the cleanse and why I decided to stop

Okay, so here's what happened and I will apologize ahead of time if you feel that any of this is TMI, but it should be tossed out there.  So after 5 days of the cleanse I felt fine with one exception.  Lets just say my gut stopped moving!!  This was not a good thing.  The con to juicing.....your gut could stop moving, and or cause constipation.  I will not say constipation I will say that it just stopped moving.  And I felt gross because of that.  If your body is detoxing, but you are unable to flush the toxins out of your system then there is a problem!  You are holding on to toxins and therefore will feel pretty icky!  You body then may potentially reabsorb the toxins it was trying to get rid of in the first place.  I did some digging, spoke to my mom and a doctor at my job that knows a little about everything.  My mom suggested that I add a digestive enzyme and probiotics to my diet to get the gut moving and being productive again and the doc said maybe I should take something like a fiber supplement, you know that powder stuff.  Downside to the probiotics and enzymes was that I'd already spent a small fortune for this cleanse and now I was going to have to come out of pocket again for more supplements, fact is, I couldn't do it.  At this point I spoke with the doctor here and she suggested that I get off of the diet for fear that my body was retaining the toxins and I needed actual bulk moving through my system for my gut to work appropriately and to stay away from things like laxative teas that stimulate the movement of your gut because you want this to happen naturally.  So, I stopped.  I went back to eating regular food again.

What am I doing now?

I must admit that i liked the juicing so I've decided to make that part of my daily life. I've also noticed that I've been craving veggies and foods with color.  Most of those things of color are your living raw foods.  This has also got me jump started to eating clean as well.

My Support System?

My fiance/personal trainer and those of you that write to me on Facebook and we keep each other motivated.  I really love hearing how all of you are progressing with your fitness goals.  If you haven't you can write to me on Facebook.  My fiance was recently cleared to get back to working out after a nasty bike accident in August.  Now that he's back on his grind it is more of a motivation for me to get my butt back in gear and go for it again.   He is on his #nodaysoff #teamfitness #nopainnogain madness right now and he's making his meals.  I've decided to join in full force.   I'm a super organized person and therefore I've made an eating schedule complete with how to make the things on the list.  Working nights makes my life a little complicated, but it's simple, I'll have to come home in the morning, gym, shower, cook for a few days and then head to sleep to be at work in time.  

Keep Up with Everything Me!

Keep up with me via Instagram - AlonnaJames
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kik AlonnaJames (I don't answer my kik that often unless you are asking a serious question)
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E-mail alonnajames@yahoo.com 
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