It’s been almost 11 months since I had my 2nd daughter. Here is my fitness update.
A little back story... I’m a certified personal trainer of 6 years and I teach Pilates fusion, body sculpt with barre, and a yoga fusion class. I generally workout 4-6 times a week and I eat healthy. I don’t do processed and my carbs are generally oatmeal, wraps, and the occasional enchilada.
With my 1st baby, I didn’t workout as much as I should, but was still moderately active, aka 3-4 workouts a week. I gained 49 lbs. After I was cleared at 4.5 weeks, I worked out like crazy (6-7 days a week) and was very careful with my food even though I had to find the balance with breastfeeding. I was back at my pre-pregnancy size at 6 months PP. I felt like my pre-pregnancy strong self around 9 months PP. I fit in my smallest clothes around 1 year postpartum and we found out about our 2nd baby 14 months PP.
With this pregnancy, I worked out 5 days a week or more. I taught 3-4 classes a week and I did 1-2 workouts of weight training a week. My food was basically perfect. I craved broccoli for crying out loud. However, even though I did everything “right”, I gained 56 lbs. Our bodies do what they do + my doctors actually praised me for my health.
I was put on bed rest around 32.5 weeks pregnant because of preterm contractions, which is different than labor. I was removed from bed rest at 37 weeks + delivered at 40.5. (Thanks for being on time, Brynnen. 😘)
I was cleared at 12 weeks PP. I had a surgery 5 weeks PP to remove very large cyst and my right ovary, so I had to be even more cautious when coming back. I did a lot of core and pelvic floor work due to the classes that I teach. However, I just didn’t want to push myself so hard like I did after my first. That meant I only worked out 3-4 times a week, and now 8 months later, I’m still very much in the postpartum weight loss journey.
First things first, I am thankful. Thankful for a body that made it through 2 very difficult pregnancies for very different reasons. Im thankful that giant cyst wasn’t cancer. I’m thankful for a body that continues to nurture my baby. Yes, I’ve been pregnant or nursing for 3.5 years. I’m honored to have stripes, loose skin, and bags under my eyes. I am.
However, I still have 15 lbs to lose + I need to lose it.
My fitness goals always have a bigger purpose than just a number. My goals revolve around how I feel + what I can do.
About a month ago, after 4 years, I joined a gym. I haven’t paid for a gym membership in 6 years! It’s like coming home for me. I’ve been fired up, inspired + excited. I’ve been lifting heavy + doing circuits. I’m incorporating my body weight classes with HIIT + hypertrophy workouts. It’s been amazing for how I feel.
Yet, the scale hasn’t budged.
My clothes still don’t fit.
I always tell my clients that you have to do the right work + the right results will come, but y’all, it’s still frustrating. I want to see tangible results. I want to do circumference measurements and see a change.
One area, I feel like I can focus on more now is nutrition. Earlier, I mentioned that I eat well + compared to the average American I eat amazingly well. However, in order to lose weight we generally need more vegetables, so I’m working on getting back into the meal planning game. All mamas know how hard it is to eat something balanced with babies running around. I’m excited about buckling down here + now that Brynnen isn’t nursing as often, I feel less pressure to keep my milk supply up. (Milk supply is hard for me.)
All that being said... here’s what I do know, as long as workouts are challenging, I will see change. As long as I’m consistent, I will see change. Period, end of story.
Why do I share all this? Because someone out there feels like the right work isn’t working... someone feels like they will never get back to pre-pregnancy clothes/weight... because someone needs to know they aren’t alone.
I am tracking what I’m doing + I will share what works for me. We can do this, mamas!
Our family lives on a budget. That means that sometimes simple things like buying granola bars, needs to go. It isn’t that they are costly over time, but we already buy bulk at Costco, so we might as well make our own and save some cents. Plus, I want clean ingredients and to be able to control sugar content.
After looking at numerous recipes, I found one that with a few tweaks was perfect. You can add anything you want to it, but we keep it pretty simple.
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup oat flour (oatmeal that’s pulsed in blender or food processor until rough flour)
1/4 tsp baking soda
Less than 1/4 tsp pink salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup real maple syrup, or sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp flax seeds
top with dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 flaps to overhang.
2. Mix oat flour, oats, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. If adding chia seeds or flax seeds, do so now, mix.
3. Melt coconut oil. Add honey + syrup (sugar) + vanilla. Pour into oat mixture. Stir until well coated. Spread evenly into the pan. Press down firmly. Top with chocolate chips, if desired.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. They are done when they are golden and smell like honey. Cool for 10 minutes, then lift parchment paper by flaps and remove from pan. Cut into 8 bars. Refrigerate to cool completely before wrapping. (I use snack size ziploc bags.) They firm up as they cool.
*Note: syrup makes them more crumbly but I just love the flavor so much.
“With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding.
If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open.
If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.”
I'm in the middle of some crazy transitions. I'm ending some chapters of my life and starting a lot of brand new ones. I'm feeling uncertain. I'm even feeling a little bit like a failure, but I'm also feeling like I've been equipped for something really special. (More on this in the weeks to come.) I'll be honest, its hard when you want your life to be a certain way and God has different plans. We tend to think we know best and forget that God can do more amazing things than we can even fathom.
So, when I read this out loud at church this past Sunday, it hit me. If God doesn't want something for me, there is nothing I can do to make it happen. I cannot beat God. On the flip side, if God wants something to happen for me, He overwhelms. So, I'm going to choose to trust Him and faithfully go where He calls me, even if that's away from something He tore down or towards something He is blessing.
I’ m starting two businesses.
Did your jaw just drop? Mine did when God made it clear to me. I kept praying because I thought surely I wasn't listening right. I reached out to mentors and friends to help me wade through this decision, but it became really clear that yes, God was telling me to start TWO businesses.
The first business is something I said I would never do.
The second is starting something completely unexpected.
Many of you know that I've been in quite a season of pruning and equipping. It's almost felt like a holding pattern, but it's been so obvious that God is working on my heart. I've been praying that I would honor Him with my life, that I wouldn't get caught up in the the world's definition of success, and that I would stay faithful to where He's called me even when I'm impatient. I've also been praying for MORE faith in Him, to trust Him completely, to be obedient when He calls, and y'all, He called.
For starters, I'm stepping away from a company I worked with for the past 4 years. It feels a little like a breakup where we just grew apart. It also is leaving me with wonderful friends, skills, and invaluable life lessons.
Now for the first business... Victory Life. I've been a personal trainer for 5 years and I always swore I would never make my own fitness program, because what would make me different from everyone else? Well, I know now. I'm making a faith and fitness program, with realistic expectations, multiple calendar options to fit any lifestyle, but most importantly with daily devotional content, prayer, and loving support that is grounded in Jesus. I'm hoping to launch in March/April of 2018 and I couldn't be more excited.
Not two days after Victory Life became a reality in my heart, God showed me another business opportunity, and can I be real? I had a really hard time with this one. You see, it's network marketing. And we all say "ughhhhh". ;)
Most of you know that the previous company I worked with was network marketing, but that I said NO to the opportunity for over 4 years. I have a really hard time with spammy, salesy, pushy MLMs. Don't we all? Not to mention the fact that I was stepping away from one network marketing company to another... I was terrified people would judge me. But, it's where God is calling me and it's a realllllllly good opportunity.
Other than prayer, these are the things that convinced me.
1. It's the ONLY hair care company like it. That means no competition.
2. It's less than 3 years old, which means VERY little market saturation. We all know that person who got in early with such-and-such company and are doing fabulously, right? This is that opportunity.
3. It's non-toxic, naturally based, vegan, cruelty free, no harmful chemicals, no parabens, the list goes on. It's essential oil based and it WORKS. Oily hair? It balances your natural oils. Dry, hair that breaks? It revitalizes the strands and your hair grows. They even have a product that heals 100% of split ends. Blonde look brassy? They have something for that too.
4. They don't spam people. In fact, they encourage us to not post pics of the products, not to mention the name and to only have ear-to-ear conversations. That also means there aren't a million social media pages to manage. It's less content to create. Less opportunity to annoy your friends and family. Less stress doing too much work for too little pay.
5. They give bonuses early on, not just once you hit a certain rank. If you work hard and you hit milestones, you get paid extra. Plain and simple and the goals are completely doable.
6. No minimums, no inventory, no monthly fees, and no parties! I don't really need to explain this do I?
7. Amazing training that works! They give you a proven, specific way to run your business. No guess work needed.
So, basically, it was about as good of an opportunity I could find that fit into me keeping my priorities. God, my family, serving others (Victory Life) and making money to provide for my family and invest in Victory Life.
God made it clear this is where I'm supposed to be. The kicker is that since I've joined as a Market Partner, I've had more conversations about Jesus than ever before. Me stepping out in obedience is encouraging others and I'm so thankful God is using me in this way. The team I'm a part of is HUGE on working their business God's way and keeping Him first. I love it!
I have no idea where these two businesses will take me, but I do know that God will get the glory and He has something for me here. If you feel like He may have something for you here too, send me a message and let's talk. You know me... there is never any pressure, just information. :)
Thank you to everyone who watched my recent announcement video and has encouraged me along the way. Love you! If you haven't seen it, check it out below.
Y’all know I’m all about my chocolate muffins, but the other day I seriously needed blueberry ones in my life. I couldn’t find a recipe that wasn’t butter, refined sugar, and unhealthy. I ended up finding a recipe, making some tweaks and over the past few weeks have come up with this delicious recipe.
1/3 cup honey and/or maple syrup (I generally do half + half)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (can use coconut milk)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (Be sure it’s almost above the 1/2 cup line)
1.5 cups oat flour (grind up old-fashioned oatmeal in the food processor until fine powder)
1.25 cups whole wheat flour (can use gluten-free)
.25 cups ground flaxseed meal (can skip this and just add .25 cups of whole wheat flour for a total of 1.5 cups)
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pink salt
1.25 cups blueberries (can use frozen)
1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a muffin tin with liners or spray generously with coconut oil.
2. In a small bowl, mix almond milk and lemon juice. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, which honey/syrup, eggs and melted coconut oil.
4. In another bowl, mix whole wheat flour, oat flour, flax seed, baking powder, cinnamon, + salt.
5. Whisk half of the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Then add half of the almond milk mixture until just combined. Whisk in remaining dry ingredients + finish by adding the remaining milk mixture. Do not overmix.
6. Fold in blueberries and scoop into pan. Should be VERY full.
7. Bake 18-20 minutes. Make sure the edges are golden brown and they are done in the center.
I hope you enjoy these as much as my entire family does. Happy baking!
Let's face it, if you don't spend a lot of time in your Bible, it can seem scary. We feel "not smart enough", like it's "over our heads", or "confused on where to start". Let me ease your fears. The Bible is not scary, not knowing God is. Seriously. The enemy wants to keep you away from your loving Father, don't let him win this battle. So, to help you out, I've put together my 2nd list of resources that I have done or can't wait to do. But please hear me when I say, find a group to do it with! We are not meant to live alone and there is so much support in a community of believers. Finding a bible study group was one of the most intimidating things I've ever done, but it's been one of the biggest blessings of my life. If you still don't know where to start, find the study that speaks to YOUR heart, not the one you think you SHOULD do. Just as your relationship with God is your own, pick a study that is just as personal to you. I pray this helps!
Bible studies: (unless noted, 6-7 weeks)
Seamless by Angie Smith
Everyday Hope, Everyday Peace, Everyday Love, Everyday Faith, Everyday Obedience by Katie Orr (4 weeks)
Steadfast Love by Lauren Chandler
Entrusted by Beth Moore
Open Your Bible by Shereadstruth
Looking for Lovely by Annie Downs
All Things New by Kelly Minter
Finding I Am by Lysa Terkeurst
The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer
Sermon on the Mount by Jen Wilken
Hosea by Jenn Rothschild
Famous in Heaven & at Home by Michelle Myers (31 days)
We Saved You a Seat by Lisa-Jo Baker
None Like Him by Jen Wilkin
Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman
Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst
You are Free by Rebecca Lyons
1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp
The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst
Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman
Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen
Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford
One of the best parts of having your 2nd baby is having an idea of what baby Items you really need and the ones you could do without. This isn't a list of everything you need, just my go-to items. I figured I would share my personal faves to help any pregnant or new mamas out there. This is not a sponsored post and none of these brands even know I exist. ;)
1. Receiving blankets! We got an inexpensive pack from buybuybaby and some as gifts from Target and we use them for a ton of things. I actually use them most for nursing. I keep one on our boppy pillow and use it to wipe up overflowing milk (that happens more than you know) and then I use it as a burp cloth. I also pack an extra in the diaper bag to lay over either a changing pad or changing table. It helps keep germs away and allows for a change anywhere, including the front seat of our car.
2. I mentioned my Boppy pillow above, and while I know other people may have different favorites for nursing, I have used this one for both girls and I found a system that works for me. In bed, I usually have a 2nd pillow I prop underneath so that it's high enough to support my arms. However, it's become a fave for propping up baby. She feels comforted in it and it's a nice thing to have when I want her close but need both hands for her big sister.
3. A cradle. Sleep was my big worry when I was pregnant the 1st time. We knew we would have baby girl in our room for awhile and do naps in her room in her crib, but what would she sleep in in our room? We originally thought pack n play, but I just didn't feel settled about it. The day before my water broke, my parents ordered us this awesome old school cradle that's tiny, on wheels, flat, and is a safe sleeping space. We have loved using it with both girls and I love that Brynnen is about a foot away from me and then I can pull her next to me to grab her and nurse.
Sorelle Dondola Cradle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S7E7APE/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_trvvzbH16M9SR
It is also sold at Babies R Us.
4. A carrier. We love our Lillebaby all seasons, but my go to is a ring sling. This is the Maya Baby padded shoulder sling. I started using it when Calista was 6 months old and going through a super clingy period. It's really fast, very cozy, and comfortable for all. Brynnen has loved this baby from day one as it cups her as close to being in Mommy's belly as possible. I would love to invest in a brand like Sakura Bloom or MyWildbird and skip the padded shoulder all together, but this one works for us. If you decide to babywear, be sure to check out safe babywearing guidelines. https://babywearinginternational.org/what-is-babywearing/safety/
It is also a good idea to join a FB group for babywearing and check out buy, sell, trade for inexpensive slings.
5. Breast pads. If you are nursing this is a MUST. I love my Bamboobies reusable bamboo pads for later on, but for the first 2 months or so, disposable is best. Now, I'll be real. They don't lay super flat and you have to make sure you have a thick shirt or bra or you will see them. I avoid wearing white. Anyway, I've tried Avent, Medela, and Lansinoh and by far Lansinoh is the most discreet. You can find them at Target, buybuybaby, and Amazon to name a few.
6. A meal train. If anyone asks you what you need. Ask them to set up a meal train. This was my first time ever experiencing this awesomeness. A friend from church set it up so that for 3 weeks, every other day, a sweet lady brought us dinner. It was a huge lifesaver. It was amazing to meet new people. It was encouraging and on many days saved me. My husband works nights so you can imagine how hard it was to find time to cook every night with 2 under 2. Lifesaver. Do it.
7. White noise. We bought one that plugs in, otherwise you pour through batteries. We also bought one that isn't marketed for babies. They are generally less expensive. Big Red Rooster BRRC107 Sound Machine, 6 Sounds https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H6WXUX8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_keVkdS9Lkyasl
8. Swaddles. Our girls are always swaddled for sleep until they can roll. We use SwaddleMe swaddle pods and Halo sleepsacks as well as giant muslin swaddle blankets. Make sure they are 44x44. Always check HomeGoods for expensive brands on sale.
9. Blooming Bath. This item was out when I was pregnant with Calista and I seriously thought it was dumb. Then after trying to balance her on one arm in an itty bitty sink and wash her with the other... awful. We made it through and then switched her to 2 different baby tubs, but this time, oh this time I wanted this silly flower. It's comfortable. It's soft. It fits all types of sinks and Brynnen doesn't cry. It's machine washable and dryer friendly and it's the best gift we received this baby. Get it at Target, buybuybaby or Amazon. The old version has more petals, the new one has 4.
10. Support. You can't do this mama thing alone. Whether it's your spouse making sure you eat, get a 30 minute break, or extra sleep... or it's your parents or friends or church family. You will need breaks. You will need someone to message in the middle of the night. You will need to be prayed over. Reach out. Ask for help. If you feel like you have no where to turn, call me. Seriously. Send me a message. You are not and never will be alone. You can do this mama. You are more amazing than you know.
Brynnen Clare Eskew
8 lbs 1 oz
5.13.17, 7:51 AM
Name means: Salvation from God, Clear/bright
One week with our 2nd little girl and I need to get this story down before I forget the details. This will probably be TMI... you've been warned. 😜
Friday the 12th I had a doctor's appointment at 40w3d. As some of you know, I had been having contractions since 32w5d. I was even on modified bed rest until 37 weeks so we could make sure she didn't come too early. The fact that I went over my due date was a little 🙄. An important thing to note here is that we make GIANT head babies and I have a small pelvic structure. Hence, 4 hours of pushing with Calista, bone on bone. This coupled with being overdue made me nervous about my ability to deliver vaginally.
Anyway, we decided that we would strip my membranes, which basically separates the cervix from the amniotic sac. The goal here is to release a hormone that can stimulate labor. Since I was already 4CM dilated and 70% effaced, we all felt like it was a good option. I'll also be transparent and say that I did not want to induce labor before 40 weeks. I also had a really hard time making this decision, but I did and that's that. Since the procedure is only 24% effective, we also scheduled my induction for 41w1d.
Tim went to work around 4pm. At 9pm, as it had many weeks before, my contractions picked up. I tried the usual tricks... lay down on the left side, sit on the ball, take a hot shower. Instead of easing up as they usually did, these got worse. Around 11pm, Tim left work early to come home. At this point contractions were about 7-8 minutes apart. We decided to try and get some rest... it never happened for me. I started having rolling contractions which is what I had with Calista, where I would have a contraction, it would act like it was done but then come back with a vengeance, repeat. At 3AM I called my doctor. They originally told me to wait to come in until contractions were 5 minutes apart; I was still 6-7 minutes apart but in WOAH pain. For those of you who don't know, I ended up delivering naturally with Calista after the epidural wore off, so I know what these feel like. Dr said to come in, but we had to wait for my parents to wake up and drive to our house to stay with Calista.
Fast forward through back labor that I couldn't sit or lay down through, we got to the hospital at 4:30AM. In triage, I immediately asked for an epidural. My contractions had me repeating "help"... my poor husband. My water broke and I was 6-7CM. They moved me to L&D, all which had me sitting on my booty, the worst possible position for me at the time. The anesthesiologist came in quickly, yay! By the time he was done I had been at the hospital about an hour. I have to say trying to sit through an epidural while contracting the ENTIRE time was incredibly hard. But blessed relief came and I was at 10 CM.
Around 6AM, they had me push. Brynnen's HR dropped so we went into "recovery" which typically lasts an hour. This was my favorite part because after 30 minutes or so, I could feel my body working to labor B down. I really wanted my body to do the work and to trust that B and I knew what to do. At about 7:25AM, I felt like I could push, still no pain, yay! So we pushed about 4 times per contraction and in less than 30 minutes she was here!
We were able to do immediate skin to skin and delay the cord clamping, just like we wanted. They then left us alone for an hour. I don't think it really hit me until she started to nurse for the first time. All of a sudden I realized that I get to love a new precious person and my heart already knew where she would fit. Just like with Calista, I feel like I've always known her and was just waiting for her to be mine. God always knows what He's doing and I can't help but be awed by His timing, His grace, and His forgiveness.
We ended up going home from the hospital after just 34 hours, on Mother's Day, just like all those years ago when my parents brought me home. It was incredibly special.
I'm pretty new to regularly attending church as an adult. I know all about going for specific holidays like Easter and Christmas and I actually remember dreading some of those sermons while I was growing up. So, when you read this, please know that God changed my heart here, this is not my natural inclination. :)
On Sunday, we left early because we knew it was going to be crowded and we were right. There were so many people that as we sang the first 15 or so minutes away, the church staff had to add more and more chairs. It was incredible. As my husband and I stood there singing songs that are now familiar to both of us, I got overwhelmed....
There were hundreds of people there.
Hundreds of people standing and worshipping our King.
People lifting their voices to sing His praises.
Tears started streaming down my face. Is this what heaven is like? Is this what it would be like if we all praised God? Is this what it means to stand in His presence?
He was definitely there with us. You could see it on the worship band's faces. You could hear it in the joyful noise we were making. And for one of the first times I ever remember, I truly prayed that each and every person there would REALLY know Jesus. Not just know OF him, but KNOW him.
For those of you who have been following me for years, you know that my relationship with Jesus is a fairly new thing. I've always known of him and believed in him, but it wasn't until about 2 years ago that I let him in to start changing my heart. You can read more of my story here: http://www.natalieeskewfitness.com/blog/a-day-to-remember
I want you to see the difference when I talk about showing up to church to worship on a Sunday and really showing up each and every day and surrendering to Jesus. I want you to KNOW him. I pray for every hurting person, every confused, scared, overwhelmed, underwhelmed person that you will seek him and find him. I pray that you will open up your bible and just start reading. Just like our pastor said "You encounter the living God through the written word of God". You don't have to know what to read or what it means, just open up your bible and sit there with God. Open up your bible and ask Him for his help in understanding. Tell Him your doubts, your fears, your insecurities. Then show up again tomorrow. Show up for 5 minutes a day for a week, then try for another week. Even if nothing is happening. Even if you don't get it. Show up. I don't know how long it took me, but it took awhile for me to even start understanding. I'm still learning. I'm still having God open my eyes. I still get stumped, confused, scared, but every time I show up and read His word He gives me peace. So, I pray for you as you read this. I pray that even if you know him that you will surrender ALL of your heart and life to him. I pray that we can share His love for us to every single person we see. I pray that you see my heart and that I really truly want you to KNOW God and find peace in Him. Find joy and a love that is so faithful that you never doubt your worth. There is nothing you have done or can do that will make him stop loving you. That's a relationship I want to show up for, don't you?
If you would like recommendations on bible studies and books I recommend: http://www.natalieeskewfitness.com/blog/bible-study-and-book-favorites
Well, week 32/33 did NOT go as planned. Last Sunday after church, I noticed that I was having more Braxton Hicks than usual. That's actually saying a lot because I had a lot with Calista and have been having them for weeks this pregnancy already. I've even talked to 3/5 doctors I have about what would be a cause for concern. Each one said if there were more than 4/5 in an hour, give them a call. So, I started tracking. I'll call them all contractions because at this point the difference between a contraction and a Braxton Hicks gets a little hazy. Hour One- 5 contractions. Hour Two- 7 contractions with one of them not going away with changes in position, etc. So, I called. They had me come in to triage and that 3rd hour, I had more than 5-6. While I was hooked up to the machine, my doctor came in and noticed that these weren't Braxton Hicks, but real contractions. Cue panic. They did a FFN test which basically measures a protein that can determine whether or not you will go into labor in the next 2 weeks. It took 1.5 hours for it to come back and during this time I was given what I call "the jitterbug drug" to stop my contractions since at this point they were ranging anywhere from 2-7 minutes apart. Once the FFN test gloriously came back negative, aka less than 2% chance of going into labor barring my water breaking, they sent me home. Strict bedrest. Feet same level as your hips bedrest. 😳
Needless to say that is a doozy for a mother of a 21 month old who teaches fitness classes. I was able to get into my follow up appointment within 18 hours and this doctor, who saw me through my entire pregnancy with Calista, was very reassuring. He modified my bedrest orders to be a little more realistic but stressed the need to get to today, 34 weeks. He said that because of the FFN and the condition of my cervix, he has no reason to believe she will come before now. However, we have NO way of knowing that if these "preterm contractions", not preterm labor, mean that she will come early at all. If she does, at this stage of the pregnancy he wouldn't interfere with her making her appearance.
So, I've been stressed. I've been struggling with peace as I contemplate a preterm birth and NICU stay for my girl. I've been worried about not being able to teach classes or keeping up with Calista, BUT God is so good. He has shown us that we are surrounded by people who want to help in any way that they can. Tim's mom came in to help us get last minute baby items done and to help with Calista. We've had friends bring by food. My parents helped us with Calista while I was at the hospital. We've had more messages than we could ever imagine. I have to say that I'm incredibly grateful.
At the the end of pregnancy, there is always uncertainty. You never know how this baby will enter the world, but now that the biggest cause for concern is past us with this 34 week marker, I can breathe a sigh of relief.
I am still having contractions, oh yes I am. They vary from 20 minutes apart to every 5 minutes for over an hour. This makes it hard for me to imagine her waiting for 6 more weeks, even though it's possible. So we are waiting. We are waiting for my contractions to be 5 minutes apart and painful, like whoa painful. So far, no dice.
I have a doctor's appointment Thursday and we pray that everything looks good. After that appt, I may try to do some light movement because not working out is making me bonkers. I'm not considering anything intense, but being able to do some gentle yoga or a few squats would go a long way. It's mentally hard on me after working so hard this pregnancy to stay strong and healthy that I might lose it all at the end. Prayers for peace here would be much appreciated. 😍
Note: I would love to make it to at least 37 weeks if not further, but pray that it's not over 40. 😘 Contractions all day and night for over a week is already exhausting me, let alone 3-6 more weeks. It's good news that 80% of women who go into preterm labor (I'm not even technically preterm labor, just contractions) do not deliver before 37 weeks! Priority number one is always baby B's healthy, safe delivery. I can't wait to give her kisses and hold her sweet little hands.