Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 4 Postpartum

I'm on vacation!! Feels so good to get away from mundane life and the Army Post. I don't like living on post, it just feels dark and depressing.

My hubby & me at a
drive in movie
I've been struggling a bit lately. I haven't felt right. I haven't been able to relax or enjoy my time off before going on vacation. Now that I'm away...wow, big difference. I feel so much better! Maybe it has something to do with support? My husband and I don't have any, except each other which I tell you is invaluable, but sometimes I wish we had a family member to watch the kids or bring dinner by, but alas it's just us.

Now we have our dear friends and adopted parents that we're visiting and I love being here! I feel happy and relaxed.

Aaand now I'm eating too much and boy am I enjoying some wine! I know I'll pay for this later in my progress to get my postpartum body in shape, but right now I just want to enjoy my time off. I have 8 weeks left, thanks to the change for the Army earlier this year from 6 weeks to 12 weeks off. I can't believe I did only  6 weeks off before this! That feels like nothing!

I'm still pumping. I've worked out 2 times, doing mostly weight lifting. I tried jogging on a treadmill and holy cow, everything bounced around SO much. My boobs started leaking and my knees felt like crap, so I stopped. Just not ready for that I guess lol.. little discouraged.

Still wearing my small waist trainer, but I noticed this morning it was ripping at the top. :-(  It's not going to last much longer. I'll look into ordering a new one here soon.

Well this week is brief! But as always, please do leave comments and or questions. I'm gonna go have some relaxing fun and not stress out about weightloss and perfection right after having a baby!

I'll post progress pictures when I get home....

~Caroleena Kay

It's Been So Long....

   It's been a crazy minute since I've blogged last. I have so much catching up to do on here! So much to share. I figured to get back into the swing of things, I'd do a quick post.

I'm getting out of the military. Bomb dropped! Hence the busyness. I've been packing, cleaning, lining up appointments, trying to get our new place several states away ready for us; yeah it's been hectic.

I've had some struggles with getting back in shape. I was hoping it'd be quicker than it has (don't we all I suppose!) and I've had to work around military related injuries that have frankly left me very discouraged! I am doing better now, almost 4 months postpartum, and I'm going to try to post my back journey, with pictures, a little at a time until I get caught up!

I am finally seeing progress. There are a few things I had to cut out in order to get here, but now that I have, it's been very worth it. All this I shall share.

Thank you all for being patient with my absence! I have several posts lined up and ready to share, just need a few tweaks here and there, and of course, pictures :-)

Thanks for the support and follow! And thank you for the emails and all the great questions! Keep 'em coming!

~Caroleena Kay

Postpartum Waist Training - Royal Lioness Review

I've been blogging about using waist trainers in my Postpartum Recovery Week By Week section, and just recently I finally got my hands on the correct size from Royal Lioness!! SO happy to have it.

So I'm on day 3 of wearing it, and I see a difference already. I'm practically giggling as I write this LOL...let me explain....

I first purchased a small, which was just me dreaming and thinking I was smaller than I was... *embarrassed*. When I tried to put it on, I could barely get it around the sides of my waist much less get it to close!! Talk about a depressing moment.
Week 10 Postpartum

I went back on the Royal Lioness website and decided to actually buy the size my waist was...so sitting at a 38" waist, I swallowed my pride and ordered a Large black waist trainer.

I've used Squeem waist trainer from Amazon, and until I started wearing Royal Lioness, this was my top choice. Now having used Royal Lioness I have a new favorite hands down!! It's thicker, stronger and way more durable than any waist trainer I've tried. The quality exceeds the price..in other words it is waaaay worth the money.

Now for why I'm giggling over my keyboard! I received the waist trainer 3 days ago, and that day I literally had to lay on my back and suck in with all my strength, plus use my newly aquired arm muscles to hook it together. I managed about 3 hours wearing it that day before it really became uncomfortable, but during that time it felt so good to have such strong support for my separated abs.

The next day, I still had to lay on my back to hook it, but it was a bit easier. I wore it for the full 8 hours. This morning I went to put it on and OMG!! I can stand up and hook it all the way down!

I haven't changed my eating habits...if anything, I've indulged in a few too many white carbs...chicken alfredo and pizza to be exact lol....

Ladies, this Royal Lioness waist trainer works. I'll keep updating you. Just can't beat noticable results in 3 days.

Questions? Comments? Insults? Leave them below! :-)

~Caroleena Kay

Friday, August 5, 2016

Week 3 Postpartum

3 weeks postpartum
Here I am now at week 3 of my postpartum recovery. I'm feeling eager to jump into working out after baby, but my body keeps telling me to "hold up!". However, I am managing to workout with some serious modifications that are turning out to be just the challenge I need.

Mostly I've been doing Fitness Blender on YouTube with my hubby. We enjoy working out together, it started postpartum with my last son and now I'm ready to get back into it with him instead of watching him! I modify kinda on the spot when I do a workout. If I can't do something, I find something I can do and do it to the best of my ability. This is key in progression! I did get on the new bench press and found I could bench 65lbs...not bad for being such a long time away from working out.

I'm still drinking a lot of water, always shoot for a gallon a day, though some days I don't get there. I'm still taking my prenatals and pumping breastmilk for most of Cendricc's food supply.

Kegels everyday ladies! This is the one thing that is going better than expected and I'm lovin it.

I'm still wearing my small squeem waist trainer everyday. Feels great, but I do look like a can of biscuits busting out both ends lol....still, my waist feels smaller so I'm keeping it up.

Bleeding is slowing down, which is really nice. I'm only wearing panty liners and still cleansing every now and again, but otherwise I feel really good down there. Much sooner than I expected. Starting to think about getting back into the way Cendricc came about...but without another Cendricc if ya know what I mean.  ;-D

These days I know when I've pushed myself too hard postpartum. My "floor" gets sore lol...my lady parts start complaining...trying to put this delicately! Usually when I feel this way, I lay down and rest. I make the time for myself, even with 3 kids and 2 puppies. No matter what, I'm really trying to focus on putting me first. My day job right now is taking care of everybody else's needs, so I know I need to make time for
Cendricc 3 weeks old
ME. No shame or excuses. Take IT!

Still trying to find sleep somewhere in life...I'm not sure how much longer I can keep up with pumping breastmilk every 3 hours, but I really want to go at LEAST a month. We are going on vacation for a bit, so I'll see how things go. 

I'm not sure if it seems like I'm rushing through everything, but my time and energy are sooo slim right now. Please leave comments and/or questions. If you want me to go into more detail about something in a seperate article, Contact Me and I will. I want my experience to help or inspire so let me know in what areas I can do this better!

Thanks for your support and feedback,

~Caroleena Kay

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Contact Me

I'm always open to questions or comments, give me your feedback!

My goal with this blog is to be an inspiration and hopefully help give a boost of confidence in pregnancy and home birth. I love sharing how to get back in shape afterwards as well! It's a challenge for sure, but hard work and dedication pays off.

Email me anytime. I might be busy with a crazy life, but I will get back to you as soon as I can.


~~Caroleena Kay

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 2 Postpartum

Week 2 Postpartum
Week 2 postpartum ladies! I'm already getting impatient to be back to my normal self...not a good thing at all, but I do need to be honest about it. I think because I'm up round the clock pumping and feeding, it feels like it's been twice as long.

Starting out week 2 postpartum with an updated picture. I see a difference! I can not stress enough how wrapping your belly immediately postpartum is so helpful in getting back into shape after baby much faster. I'm still wearing mine almost round the clock. Mostly because of my abs being so shot and tender. It just feels so much better and I can function more normally!

I'm still doing Kegels daily. I'm also practicing while I pee (lol) trying to stop the
Week 2 Postpartum
stream then resume. Weird I know, but if you can't really feel yourself doing Kegels, then starting on the toilet will help give you an idea as well as help you keep track of your progress.

Postpartum cramps have been horrible this time around. The pain almost made me faint. I chugged water with a couple Tylenol to help, but when they hit it's so bad I have to stop everything and just breath and wait them out. I'm doubled over on the floor from them.

Still drinking lots of water. Still cleaning with Peri bottle and postpartum herbal and oil cleanse, as well as changing pads frequently to promote cleanliness and healing. I'm almost out of my postpartum bath soak. It's been SO nice to have and this feels like the quickest I've healed yet.

I did start some squats this week. VERY cautiously, but I managed 50 without feeling pain. I believe squats will help restrengthen my pelvic floor as well as encourage blood flow which aids in healing.

I also started LIGHT weight lifting. Either 5lb weights or just going through the motions of an exercise. Movement is my goal at this time, not to be Superwoman lol! Getting up and getting blood flowing is my goal.

Postpartum Belly Binding
I forced myself into my small Squeem waist trainer!! Feeling really good about that. Also, I'm still putting coconut oil on my belly 1-2 times per day.  I'm wanting to try Royal Lioness Waist Trainers, but I have to wait till I get paid. They look way sturdier and better quality than my Squeem.

My husband likes doing the YouTube videos called Fitness Blender.  I HEAVILY modify it to be a postpartum friendly workout, but at least I am doing it with him.

I really can't get off the floor very well, my knees hurt, abs won't let me do much, so I'm taking it slow and trying not to push myself. SO hard! I am doing NO jumping or running. Just not even going there lol....

My sweet baby is sleeping a lot but getting up like clockwork every 3 hours. He's
growing like a weed already! I'm in love. :-)

There it is! Week 2 postpartum is down. Feeling a bit better this week, excited to keep going. I would welcome your comments and questions!

~Caroleena Kay

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Weeks 23 & 24 of My Pregnancy

I'm starting to get back into the swing of blogging again. I'd love to post more often, but sometimes I just can't muster up the energy or the creativity! I do have several posts waiting for pictures and editing that I will be sharing hopefully sooner rather than later!

I am now 24 weeks preggo. I did have to check via an online due date calendar...I kinda lost track of time for a second. I'm finding it harder to put my shoes on, even worse for my military boots! I can't walk as fast everywhere, but I'm a speedy walker by nature, so I'm sure most people haven't really noticed. Climbing the stairs to get the boys to bed is getting harder. I just tell myself that it's great for staying in shape, so I need to resist the urge to avoid the stairs!

I had a second ultrasound last week, and though the baby was curled up in a lil ball, they still think it's a boy, so I'll plan for that! It was really amazing to see him moving and hear the heartbeat. Gets me every time. He is now the size of an ear of corn apparently! I feel a lot more movement all throughout the day, so that's been a delight.

Update: I have the Army maternity uniform, yaaay! (Sarcasm) Finally went into Central Issue Facility to sign for 3 sets. It is more comfortable as far as the pants go; no more belt but instead that super sweet giant pouch to sling my belly in. Feels like I'm wearing granny panties all day...super sad face here....The jacket looks like a tent or a poorly made dress that's too short to be decent. Okay, I'll stop. I'm just disgruntled over the new look, but as promised, I provided a picture. You're welcome.

I'm staying on track with eating. Today I felt really odd and nauseous so I didn't eat much...until this evening. Then for some reason the only thing that sounded bearable was chicken top ramen...and then an hour later for dinner, french toast and cheesy scrambled eggs with the boys! I feel much better now, so maybe it was a carb thing. Sometimes you just gotta go with the weird days.

On a side note: I haven't been sleeping that great lately, so out of the blue I took one of my daily fish oil pills a bit before bed and found I slept much better. I had no idea before hand to try it, nor was I thinking it would help. I just noticed I slept much better and my analytical brain was trying to figure out why.,,low and behold, there's been research done that links fish oil to helping sleep issues. Well, it has been working for me most nights, so I thought I'd pass it along...here's the brand from Amazon I'm taking:

Friday, July 29, 2016

Week 1 Postpartum

Now my journey to getting back in shape begins! Here is my first week postpartum and what I'm doing to get back in shape. I have a lot of obstacles ahead of me, but I know with a little determination and lots of baby steps, I'll get there eventually.

24 hours after giving birth
Let's start with my 24 hour postpartum routine. I'm going to be as direct and concise as I can...and probably a little tmi at times, but this is messy business!! Talk about not feeling sexy for awhile lol....

Right after Cendricc was born, I cleaned up, put on an adult diaper, no shame, as well as this softer elastic band waist trainer... I drank a Powerade, took 3 Tylenol and ate some Pizza Hut breadsticks lol. I stayed awake until I felt just tired, waiting on signs of possible hemmorrage or feeling faint/dizzy etc.

As I sat up rehydrating myself, I stared at my beautiful baby and immediately started Kegels. I could actually feel my muscles clenching down there, which I believe to be a great sign. With a few of my other births, I had to go through the motions believing I was doing them because I couldn't really feel it. Off to a good start!

The next morning, I did a shallow postpartum herbal bath soak. The more potent the better! I also took the picture above later on that day...I know I still look pregnant in that picture, but that's the wonderful real life way postpartum works lol!

I used my Peri bottle with warm water and the Peri Cleanse to help ease the pain of urinating/bowel movements. This helped SO much, I never want to be without this postpartum! By day 3 I knew I hadn't torn because I could pee without using the Peri bottle and it didn't burn.

I changed pads constantly. Everytime making sure to clean with the Peri bottle mixed with the postpartum healing herbs and oils.

My little boy 1 week old
My abs were SO sore my first week postpartum, and I had a painful pulling sensation. The area around my belly button was painful to even touch and coughing or sneezing hurt so much without a wrap on. I had to wear a belly wrap almost round the clock. I couldn't sit up or get out of bed unless I was strapped in. Zero core strength. I wore the black squeem waist trainer during the day and my soft elastic one at night, otherwise I couldn't even turn over in bed. I let my skin breath for an hour in the morning, and an hour in the evening. I also put coconut oil on my skin at these times.

I drank lots of water!! I also kept taking prenatal vitamins. Because of breastfeeding, I worked for a healthy well rounded diet, eating when I was hungry. Strict dieting will come later.

Week 1 postpartum down! It feels so good to be my own person again! Thank you for reading and please check in again as I work my way to getting back in shape after baby. Also, please feel free to leave comments or questions. Would love to hear from ya'll!

~Caroleena Kay

Thursday, July 28, 2016

My 4th Unassisted Home Birth

Last day being pregnant! I'm
188 pounds at 9months
I finally had my sweet baby boy. With God there in the room every step of the way, and my husband being the biggest most amazing support ever, we buckled down and I gave birth to my son Cendricc (pronounced Kendrick) Levi at home, unassisted, in our bathtub early morning of May 14th.

I'd like to walk you through it all. It wasn't easy. I had moments of fear and wanted to give up.

My body is odd when it comes to labor. A week before Cendricc was born, I had at least 3 false labor moments where I believe fear and a sense of not feeling ready stopped it from progressing. I tend to overthink and I've also found that I don't forget what it feels like to have a baby and this in and of itself chases labor away!

I knew I would feel most comfortable with him coming at night. The kids are in bed..it's just me and my husband..it's dark and quiet and I knew I'd feel more relaxed. Sure enough, Friday the 13th I started feeling contractions later on in the evening, around 6pm. Early on that day, I found I couldn't sit down on the couch, it put too much odd pressure on my insides, so I stayed sitting on a yoga ball when I wanted to rest.

My husband was at work until 10pm, so I busied myself taking care of the kids and baking cookies, not wanting to ask him to come home early due to the false alarms before. The contractions got progressively worse. At around 9pm, I put my 2 year old to bed and my 9 year old son asked me if I was okay. I had to breath through the contractions and couldn't hide it from him anymore. I told him he'd probably be meeting his new baby brother tonight!

After I sent him off to bed, I went upstairs to our bedroom and started cleaning the
My bathroom where I gave birth
bathroom in between contractions to keep my mind busy. I didn't want to stall the labor again. My husband came home and asked me for an update. I had to breath through a contraction before I could answer. His face changed and he said "This is the night, isn't it." I nodded.

Originally, I had bought a cheap blowup pool from Wal*Mart thinking I wanted to give birth downstairs, but now that I was in labor, I found I preferred the more cozy closed feeling of our bedroom and master bath. My husband Chris started lighting candles and brought his dinner and my yoga ball upstairs. It was now around 11pm.

For about the next hour or so, we just talked and enjoyed each others company, pausing while I worked through contractions. My sciatic nerve was throbbing through them and my pelvis ached as well. New sensations to me, never had this with the other 3.

I also felt the urge to switch it up a lot. After the ball for a bit, I leaned over it while he massaged my back. Then I got into a hot shower for a few contractions. Then back out to stand by the bed for a few. At around I think almost 1am, I went to the bathroom and discovered sitting on the toilet with my legs spread apart to be comfortable but also productive. Chris filled up the tub for me and I then transferred to the tub.

The contractions were intense, however, I noticed that they came further apart. The relief was wonderful in between but instinctively, I knew this was too good to be true. I wasn't progressing. I got back on the toilet and immediately felt Cendricc shift and felt a bearing down pressure. Not necessarily an urge to push, but just to let go and flow with it.

I won't lie, it hurt and took a lot for me to keep breathing through them, especially to breath in through my nose so Cendricc got the most oxygen. I also couldn't seem to settle on a position. "I need the yoga ball," I told Chris.

Again, instinctively, I felt I needed to lean over it, legs spread, and just relax into contractions as much as possible. The last time I felt the urge to lean over something was with my 2nd birth and the cord ended up being around his neck. Because of this, I calmly started talking to my husband about checking Cendricc the second he emerged. Chris grabbed the Heart and Hands book and started reading about what to do. I kept reaching down to make sure the cord hadn't slipped out already. I felt something wasn't 100% okay but no signs of anything being wrong either.

I felt mucus and saw a little bit of blood on the towel beneath me. With my last birth, this had been a sign he was coming in the next hour or so.

I stood up. Contraction hit and I couldn't stay silent. Chris came in and I put my arms around him through the next few. I looked up at him and remember saying I was scared and not sure I could do this. He told me I was doing wonderful and God would give me the strength to keep going.

At some point he set up the laptop in the bathroom and softly played Christian radio for encouragement. A candle was the only source of light in the bathroom. I remember looking at that candle and knowing just a little while longer and I'd look at it again while holding my son.

I moved to the tub. Contractions were serious and hard. Pelvic pain, sciatic nerve pain...it all compounded to be worse than the other 3, at least from what my memory told me. My husband sat on the ball right outside the tub and I grabbed his arm through the monstrous contractions, moaning and trying hard not to get loud or high pitched. The lower moan is much more productive for contractions, while the higher pitched you get, the worse the pain and the more the muscles tighten up making labor longer and harder.

Chris kept telling me not to fight it. Keep working hard, we were gonna see our baby boy soon. I knew I was fighting my body. It was so hard not to with the pain and fear...which looking back is what added to the pain of my labor.

I kept switching positions in the tub trying to find something that felt right. At one point, I turned and my legs were closer together. I felt my water break. I asked Chris to turn on the light real quick. He did and I looked down to see waters that weren't perfectly clear. They were slightly cloudy. I knew that wasn't the best scenario. My fear turned into determination: it was time for him to come.

I turned sideways in the tub, legs spread and started pushing with the bearing down feeling I got with every contraction. It wasn't long before I felt his head coming down. I pushed hard and felt on fire. I reached down thinking I had crowned his head out. Nope. It took me 3 long hard pushes to finally get his head out. I was sweating and breathing SO hard, trying to stay calm and breath through my nose. This was so much harder than my last one!

I felt his little head. Chris saw him and said "He's got a head full of hair! He's almost here." I felt a laugh/cry of relief as I got up on one knee. I pushed with the next contraction but nothing was happening. I pulled my body up straight, tucking my pelvis in, then lowered myself and I know I did like 3 other things while pushing and saying "He's gotta come now," as I pushed and wiggled my hips, spreading them as far apart as I could. I think he might have been stuck...but after lots of maneuvering, he popped out and slid gently into the water.

I immediately pulled him out and brought him to my chest, laying him on his side across my bosom. I started massaging his back and Chris grabbed the bulb syringe and I suctioned him out. We were both panting in the hot air, telling Cendricc to start crying. His eyes were open, his color was good. He sputtered and let out his first wail. We both laughed with relief, me crying as I gently pinched him and kept massaging him to keep crying.

Cleaned and dressed, almost 1 hr old
We cleaned him up a little in the tub while waiting for the cord to turn white before cutting it. It was about 25 minutes later before my husband cut his first cord ever! We clamped it and used cord cutting scissors this time around (which was easier than regular ones). I handed him off to my hubby to diaper and dress while I focused on passing the placenta and cleaning up.

Everything came out in a timely manner and intact. I cleaned up and put on an adult diaper with a loose nightgown and a soft elastic postpartum belly wrap. It felt so much better not to be pregnant! I took 3 Tylenol and drank a Powerade with some pizza breadsticks as I found myself kind of famished.

It was almost 4 in the morning, and after waking up the other boys to introduce them
to their new brother, Chris and I cuddled up in bed with Cendricc. I can't tell you how relieved and proud I was! It felt so good to just lay there and soak in my baby's beautiful little face.

I know after this time around, I really want to have some moral support from another female...or 2. I think it would've helped make me more comfortable during labor to have that female encouragement (not that my hubby didn't do an excellent job).

Cendricc was 8.8 pounds and 21 inches long.

I'd love to hear from you, so please don't hesitate to comment or ask questions! :)

Now for postpartum recovery and getting back into shape!

~Caroleena Kay

Friday, April 22, 2016

Week 25-37 of My Pregnancy

27 Weeks Pregnant, Classy
Starbucks Bathroom Pic!

I must apologize for not keeping up on my weekly blogging of my pregnancy! It just got to be too much trying to juggle a full time job, 2 kids and daily life and the exhaustion of being pregnant.

But I am back, and still pregnant, so I feel a bit of triumph at working on catching you all up on my progress and what I'm currently doing now.

I'm seeing a civilian doctor off post every week. I don't like them at all, feels like I've just been passed around from doctor to doctor and they tune me out when I have issues, claiming everything I feel is just normal. This is my 4th and I have a pretty good idea what normal is...but alas, I get cut off with phony sympathy and treated like I'm naive and uneducated. For now, I've just been going in and playing the part.

From week 25-32, I really didn't do anything of note. Just continued with a high protein diet, vitamins, and trying to sleep anytime I could.

At about 34 weeks, I could feel by his hiccups that his head was right under my rib cage. I did have a bit of anxiety about this, but instead of panicking, I started researching and watching home videos on breech birth. How AMAZING it is! Such a delicate hands-off miracle to witness. However, about a week after I settled myself at the possibility of a breech birth, I had 3 hours of intense contractions one night accompanied with violent moving on his part, and he flipped into place! Since this, his head has been in the proper position. **As a side note, I did read something that said breech babies tended to be born to mothers who didn't feel like they had much of a connection with their baby while in the womb....Needless to say, I did take more time to connect which "might" have helped him flip...I don't know, but figured it was worth mentioning.

34 Weeks Pregnant!
I am now sitting at 37 weeks. I have been drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea since about week 32. I add 2 teabags to my morning water bottle and have at least 1-2 cups hot in the evening. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is for toning the uterus for the big day as well as keeping gingivitis at bay AND helps prevent postpartum hemorrhage. It also has a modest amount of vitamins and minerals, which I can't seem to get enough of these days.
   As of week 34, I've been taking organic alfalfa capsules. I started at about 4 a day, 2 in the morning and 2 at night. Now I'm taking about 2-3 capsules 3 times daily. This will give my baby a good dose of vitamin K which will help prevent jaundice AND it will help prevent postpartum hemorrhage as well. Love these dual purpose herbs!!

I do struggle with a little bit of swelling. I try my best to drink at least 1/2 gallon of just water daily. When I stay on top of this, it isn't as bad. I also take 1 capsule of high quality fish oil at night before bed. Fish oil is great for helping with internal inflammation, plus it's been linked to being a sleep aid...which at this point I need all the help I can get! Also, getting myself in the habit of taking fish oil regularly will help cut down on belly fat after my pregnancy...win, win, win is what I see.
     I push myself to keep walking!! I do squats and stretches anytime I sit too long or feel like I'm swelling...so far it seems to keep it under control.

I'm trying so hard to stay away from salty foods...but my body has been craving CARBS like none other and ladies I have NOT been shy about giving into it. I felt guilty at first, but now I have no shame. I am eating somewhat ferociously, loving pasta, pizza, cheeseburgers, no bull sandwiches...it's crazy. Then I looked up the weekly outlook on how my little guy is growing aaaand...found out he is putting on fat at a rapid rate, so that might explain my monster appetite! Just have to keep up on the water intake.

I weigh 182 pounds right now, the heaviest in my life!! I was 178 when I gave birth to my 3rd, so this is different for me.

I have my birth kit assembled and ready. I will be doing my next post in detail about my kit, so be sure and stop by to check it out.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How I Avoid Morning Sickness

I've been wanting to sit down and write about morning sickness for awhile so here goes!

     Firstly, I have successfully never thrown up during pregnancy unless it was a short bout of the flu 6 months pregnant with my first son, or overstimulation of the uterus for 24 hours a week before having my third son. Some people will say genetics...luck...all pregnancies are different, etc. While there may be some of that present, I worked hard to avoid morning sickness and found some keys to success:

1.   Good prenatal vitamins are a MUST. If the dosage is 1 a day, it's not a really good vitamin. You need quality and quantity. It's worth the money to invest in no morning sickness! I use Vita Natal Prenatal Vitamins (4-6 a day). I have tried other brands, but I keep going back to this one because it works. If I'm consistent in taking them, I don't notice nausea.

2.   MUST EAT PROTEIN!! I cannot stress this enough. While pregnant, your body is growing another human being. Fitness gurus constantly push getting protein to feed your muscles after working out so they can grow and repair...how much more so do you think you need to grow a baby?? If you do not eat it, you will most likely throw up and be nauseous all the time. More than likely, you'll end up with health issues later in pregnancy. Eat at least 90 grams of good quality protein a day.

3.   Stay hydrated, drink water. Because of the extra blood from pregnancy as well as placenta fluids and your organs working more than normal, your body will require more fluids than before. Keep yourself flushed and rejuvanated by drinking at least 1/2 a gallon a day, working your way to a gallon. This will also help ward off urinary tract infections. I like buying a 1 liter water bottle, like Aquafina or Dasani, then refilling it throughout the day. Four of these is a smidge over a gallon, so my bare minimum is 2 a day. I take this bottle wherever I go.

4.   Fruits and/or veggies at every meal. This may be difficult to incorporate...I know it was for me at first. Fruits and vegatables contain perfect balances of the vitamins and minerals our body needs and in perfect quantities for the body to digest. For example, most people think that drinking milk = getting a lot of calcium, but it needs magnesium in order for your body to digest it. If milk has no magnesium, then you're absorbing little to no calcium. However, if you eat a cup of raw spinach, it has the perfect digestable balance of calcium and magnesium, so even if there's a small amout, you're getting all of it instead of little to none from a huge quantity.

5.   Don't forget plenty of sleep! Give your body a break and let it rest! Being pregnant is a big adjustment, especially in the beginning, both for you and your body. Not sleeping enough can aggrevate morning sickness.

6.    Eat when you wake up. Don't put off eating once you wake up. Even if you don't feel like eating, or you've never been a breakfast person, grab something small like a banana or a fruit smoothie, even a piece of cheese. Morning sickness usually comes from your body searching for nutrients and not finding what it needs, so get a head start on it and feed yourself!

7.    Have a small snack before bed. Make it a yogurt cup (I love Chobani Greek Yogurt!), a handful of nuts, a cheese stick or 1 serving of cottage cheese. If you stick to something high protein, it'll last all night to help prevent morning sickness, PLUS when you are in post partum recovery mode, this is a great fat burning secret to already have established!

8.   Stay away from sugary treats and fried foods. Yes, I do have to touch on this one! These empty calories are no good and won't satisfy you, thus if they aren't contributing to your body's need for nutrients, you've basically wasted an opportunity to keep morning sickness at bay. Also, pigging out on these foods won't help weight gain, AND during pregnancy you're more prone to yeast infections. Foods and drinks high in sugar feed yeast.

         In the beginning stages of pregnancy, there's a lot going on. You've got the added blood running through your body, tons of new hormones getting themselves established, and a higher demand for nutrients suddenly required. I do mean nutrients, not calories. According to mainstream experts, it's only in the second trimester that you need 300 additional calories a day for your growing baby. However, in the beginning, it's nutrition that is a vital key in keeping morning sickness away. Focus on these key points, and you'll find yourself feeling energetic and empowered.  

~~ Caroleena

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Nutritious Snack Ideas for Pregnancy

   A good snack will rescue you from a poor craving choice during pregnancy. It comes in like a knight in shining armor, taking away your hunger, balancing your blood sugar levels, and giving you the reward of a battle won!

   I have to make sure I have snacks on hand everywhere I go. I'll keep a couple in my purse. I have a filing cabinet drawer at work full of nonperishable snacks. I take some with me to keep in the car. Going on a road trip, I make sure to bring a cooler full of healthy choices.

   Sam's Club or Costco is great for buying good snacks in bulk! I highly recommend this.

My Office Snacks!
Here's a list of snack ideas that I'm using during my pregnancy:

1. Nuts, about 2-4oz; mixed nuts, peanuts, almonds, switch it up to keep it interesting.

2. String Cheese/Cheese cubes with a low sodium V8. One of my favorites!

3. Cup of Greek Yogurt

4. High Protein Granola Bar

5. Apple/Banana/Piece of fruit, I like to pair this with the granola bar, nuts or cheese

6. Raisins/Apricots/Craisins paired with the granola bar, nuts or cheese

7. Celery with peanut butter for dipping. Grab travel containers from the Dollar Tree

8. Veggies (Snap Peas, Broccoli, Carrots, Cherry Toms) w/Hummus/Greek yogurt dip

9. Beef Jerky Stick (Sam's Club sells a bulk pack)

10. Flavored Tuna packet with Cheez-its/Pita Chips/Some type of Chip or cracker

   This list is about all I do. It's simple but diverse as well. Usually, I'll pair a fruit or vegetable with a protein of some sort so I'm getting a filling snack that'll keep me satisfied until my next meal. With the Tuna, I usually eat it when I'm feeling light headed or "off" which I've learned is a sign I need some protein!

   Snack time is also a great opportunity to sneak a serving of fruits or veggies in, so take advantage of it! I usually do fruit in the morning and veggies after noon. 

   These snacks are also great for postpartum recovery! Eating smaller portions 5-6 times a day increases metabolism, and when they're high in protein, they also help burn fat which is awesome for getting back in shape after pregnancy. During pregnancy, eating frequent smaller meals will help with discomfort and heartburn. Sooo you can see how forming good snack eating habits now will benefit you after the baby is born!

  Here's to a healthy pregnancy and quick recovery!


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week 19-22 of My Pregnancy

I knew I wasn't going to be able to get to blogging through the holidays! I am back though, and I've mostly adjusted to the normal non-vacation work and home routine, with some difficulty I will confess.

22 weeks pregnant, clothes from Khols
because I refuse to pay $$ for maternity!
I mostly sat around during my vacation--which was much needed! I didn't end up eating as much as I thought I would, mostly because I got so uncomfortable after eating. This probably helped save me from gorging and blowing up like a balloon, but made it super hard to relax and just sit after a meal.

My baby is now the size of a spaghetti squash! I've noticed significant growth in the last 3 1/2 weeks, plus I feel him moving in the morning when I wake up, and at night when I'm trying to sleep, as well as sometimes throughout the day. I can't really feel movement from outside my belly...unless I focus and gently poke at him!

His eyes are developing, he's got hair on his body and he looks like a newborn instead of a creature from the Alien movies! I have another appointment scheduled for later this month.

It's getting harder to roll over in bed from side to side....

I have to pee more frequently because of the added pressure from the baby...I'm carrying a lot lower this time around.

I have to remind myself to walk normally and resist the urge to walk pregnant! I believe the "pregnant waddle" puts strain on the back and abdomen, which I think can cause back pain and possibly abdomenal separation. So far I haven't had abdomenal separation or more than some occassional back pain sooo...my theory is it helps. Plus it's a boost of energy to feel more like myself, unto the end.

Heartburn is attacking a lot more! I can't eat before bed, have to watch what I eat during the day, and be sure to get plenty of water throughout the day in order to keep this monster at bay.

I absolutely need the military maternity ACU's, I've had several people comment on my belly starting to poke out. I will be going to the Central Issuing Facility to "borrow" 2-4 sets hopefully in the next week or so. I will be taking pictures of my shame! Lol I'm being dramatic.

And to wrap this up, I'm still moisturizing daily! My skin looks great so far, no stretch marks. Check out my link for How I Prevent Stretch Marks to see what I use.

Happy to be back in the flow of things....


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Homemade Orange Sugar Scrub Recipe

This simple homemade orange sugar scrub I'm going to reveal to you is packed with amazingness. It's super cheap and has been my go to for years when I'm looking for a pick-me-up for my skin.

At one point or another, I'm sure we've all heard the benefits of vitamin C for the skin exclaimed and highly praised...but there is a dark side to it that most people don't realize.

Once Vitamin C is exposed to oxygen or light, it immediately starts to degrade and becomes less potent with time and not much of it.

Cosmetic companies use a stabilizer ingredient or ingredients, to keep vitamin C from going bad too quickly in their products, but there's no guarentees that it works or keeps the vitamin C from doing more harm than good. Plus, all it does is slow down the degrading process...it doesn't actually stop it.

That's the gyst of the cosmetic side of vitamin C, so why am I telling you this?

Because the best way to get these benefits: Real, homemade orange sugar scrub recipe!

Now there's one more reason to splurge on an orange and do the "hippie" thing and take a shower with it! Once you cut into an orange, the vitamin C begins going bad. This is why I wait to slice it open until right before I shower.

Here's the super easy and super cheap homemade orange sugar scrub recipe:

* One whole orange, cut in 1/2, unpeeled except for the top half inch or so (see pic)

* 1-2 cups white sugar

* A plastic bowl

* Hot shower

*Your bod

  Place sugar in plastic container. Rinse your skin in a hot shower to warm everything up. I usually turn the shower off and start using the orange like a scrub sponge, dipping into the sugar and exfoliating skin while slightly sqeezing the orange.

  I like to let it sit on my skin for a few minutes, so I usually attack the spots I want to benefit the most, like my stomach and boobs (any place with stretch marks or the potential for getting them). 

   By the time I get done with my whole body, it's been about 5 minutes, so I rinse.  

   I recommend shaving after this...or you'll feel the sting of the acid, ouch!!

   Your skin will feel amazing! To me, the softness I feel after doing this is much different than using store products. You'll love it.


~~Caroleena Kay


Friday, January 8, 2016

5 Day List of My Pregnancy Nutrition

Here is a 5 day list of what I eat while I'm pregnant. I didn't plan this out like a menu, I just kept track of what I was eating and wrote it down for you to give you an idea...and as you'll see, I'm definitely not diet perfect!

DAY 1 Meal List

1 Cup coffee with 2tbsp white chocolate raspberry creamer
1 Strawberry Greek Yogurt
1 Apple
**2 Vitanatal Vitamins

1 1.75oz bag Salted Peanuts

1/2 cup Pine Nut Hummus
1 cup Cucumber Slices
1/2 cup Red & Yellow Peppers
2 6" Quesadillas w/1/2 cup cheese total
1/2 cup Homemade Fresh Guacamole
**2 Vitanatal Vitamins

1 6oz bag White Cheddar Popcorn
1 Apple

1 100% Angus Burger w/cheese
1 Whole Wheat Bun
Coleslaw, Pickles, Ketchup, Onion (condiments)
1 cup Waffle Fries, baked with Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Pepper

DAY 2:

1 Cup coffee with 2tbsp white chocolate raspberry creamer
1 1/2 cups Raisin Bran
1 cup Milk
**2 Vitanatal Vitamins

1 Fiber One Trail Mix Bar
1 Apple

3 Scrambled Eggs
1/2 cup Cheese
Mushrooms, Onion, Spinach/Kale Mix
Hot Sauce
Part of 1 Bagel with Strawberry Jam
**2 Vitanatal Vitamins

1 Pouch Ranch flavored Tuna
1 1.5oz bag White Cheddar Cheez-its

3 slices Dominos Canadian Bacon & Pineapple Pizza
3 Parmesan Cheesey Bites

DAY 3:

1 Cup coffee with 2tbsp white chocolate raspberry creamer
1 Apple
1 Nutrigrain Bar
**2 Vitanatal Vitamins

1oz beef jerky

1 6" Spicy Italian Sub (from Subway)
Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumber, Peppers, Olives, S&P, Provolone Cheese, Chipotle Southwest Ranch

2oz Turkey Bites
1 Apple
0.75oz White Cheddar Cheez-its
1 cup Popcorn

1 cup Orange Chicken /Bejing Beef (Panda Express)
1 cup Veggie Fried Rice

DAY 4:

1 Cup coffee with 1 tsp sugar + 1tbsp powder creamer
1 Pineapple Greek Yogurt
1 Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage breakfast sandwich
**2 Vitanatal Vitamins

1 Apple

Parmesan Fish
Salad, homemade w/kale & spinach + 1 tomato + 1/2 cucumber
1/4 cup Honey Roasted Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup Grated Cheddar
2 oz Chicken Breast
**2 Vitanatal Vitamins

2 oz Smoked Almonds

1 Parmesan Tilapia filet
1/2 cup Lemon Basil Rice
1 cup chopped cucumber/tomato salad w/basil vinegarette

2 homemade Peanut Butter Cookies
8 oz glass milk

DAY 5:

1 Cup coffee with 1 tsp sugar + 1tbsp powder creamer
3/4 cup Oatmeal + milk + honey
1/4 cup Raisins
**2 Vitanatal Vitamins

1 large orange

Scrambled Egg Sandwich: 2 pieces healthy bread, 3 scrambled eggs, 2oz cheese
1 8oz Low Sodium V8

4 oz Garlic Chicken Breast, baked
1/2 Sweet Potato, light cinnamon & sugar
1 cup Garlic & Chive Green Beans

   As you can see, I have cheats in a sample 5 day menu during pregnancy! I'm in no ways spot on perfect. A lot of my food choices depend on what I can afford or when I have time or if I'm going out on a date or just tired as hell. I have pizza cravings and sometimes just want a McDonalds McDouble! The goal is to form good daily habits for the majority of the time.

We can always benefit from making healthier choices, but just remember, babysteps of progress are way better than making no changes at all!

When you find it hard to stick to a healthy diet, just remember that there are a good many pregnancy problems that can be prevented just by diet alone! Instead of looking at turning down a box of doughnuts as denying yourself something you think you deserve, think of it as actively protecting your baby with the choices you make.

Fit N Fancy 4 Life,