Monday, February 18, 2013

60-Day Wellness Bootcamp!

I am so excited about this! Beginning in March, Go Fit Mom will hold it's first ever 60-Day Wellness Bootcamp! Since baby, I've been very limited in how many sessions I can do and I've been getting interest in training and nutrition advice, sooooo I thought this would be the perfect way to coach you through your journey no matter where you live or what your schedule is like!

Who is this Wellness Bootcamp for? Women who....

·         Want to get control of their eating habits

·         Want to lose weight the right way and keep it off

·         Don’t want to go on a fad diet

·         Want to eat REAL food and not starve

·         Fall off track with every diet they’ve tried

·         Want more energy

·         Need accountability and support to lose weight

·         Want to learn how about proper nutrition and fitness

·         Don’t want to spend a lot of money on getting in shape

·         Want to look and feel sexy this spring and summer!
What will you get with the 60-Day Bootcamp?
·         Daily Nutrition Logs
·         Weekly Meal Planners
·         3-5 day Detox Plan
·         Plenty of Fast, Easy, and Healthy recipes
·         Sample Meal Plans
·         Personalized Fitness Plan and Sample Workouts
·         Your own Personal Fitness and Nutrition Coach
·         Weekly E-mail tracking and reviews
·         Bi-Weekly phone sessions
·         Initial Phone Consultation and Goal Setting Session
·         Recommended Grocery List
·         Fitness and Nutrition Educational Materials
·         Accountability to keep you on track!
With this program you are NOT following a DIET. You are finding what works for you and eating right for your body and your needs. You will lose weight the right way and keep it off. You will learn to hold yourself accountable and learn what works for you and your family!
If this program sounds right for you and you'd like more information, email me!
Program will begin March 1st!

Friday, February 15, 2013

How you can help a NICU family or a New Mother

Having a baby born 14 weeks early was hard, but it would have been even harder had it not been for our amazing family, friends, and community who supported us and helped us through those 108 days! People did things for us that I would never had imagined! Even complete strangers wrote messages to us and prayed for us daily. I realized that during a time like this people just want to help in any way. Sometimes they don't know how they can help, but they just want to feel like they contributed something. Many people say, "If you need anything, please let us know". We all have been there, it's hard to accept or reach out for help, but it's also hard to know how you can help someone during a difficult time. I have compiled a list of some of the amazing acts of kindness and ways you can help a NICU family during their time of need, or even things you can do for any new mother. Sometimes lending a helping hand can mean more than a gift and will be greatly appreciated. Especially when the family has other children at home. Here are some ideas....

1. Drop off some grocery necessities....milk, eggs, bread, pasta, peanut butter, frozen pizzas, soda, etc. Things you think the family uses and especially when they are short on time.

2. Make up a hospital care package....magazines, instant coffees, tea, snack bars, nuts, crayons and color books (for kids), goldfish crackers, etc. Families spend a lot of time in the cafeteria for snacks and meals and have a lot of downtime. This makes for less of those trips!

3. Make up some frozen meals. Time for Dinner is a nice local (St. Louis) business where you can make yummy meals to freeze. Or you can just make your own. These come in handy now or later for the family! Our friends emailed out a calendar on for friends and family to sign up to bring us meals. So greatly appreciated during our NICU stay!

4. Offer to send over a cleaning lady or service. We are both so fortunate that our mothers happen to do this for a living, but I can't say how nice it was to come home to a sparkling clean and sanitized house with our baby. Yard maintenance is another great idea if it's summer. Especially when the family is so short on time!

5. Sign the family or baby up for masses. Especially if the baby is sick and needs the prayers. We had several people enroll our baby in a Membership of Adoration that would dedicate 9 masses to her over the course of a year. A very thoughtful and meaningful gift. You may also add the family or baby to the prayer chain at your church or start a perpetual rosary...another amazing gesture that was started for our baby!

6. Plan a day to take the other children to do something fun and let the parents spend alone time or spend time at the hospital. This also does so much for the siblings who are going through a rough time and need the extra attention.

7. Send the family stationary, thank you cards, or stamps! With a new baby or a NICU stay the family has many thank you notes to write and this eliminates a few stops for them. A great gift idea!

8. Deliver a hot meal or have a meal delivered from a restaurant. Arrange the date ahead of time so the family knows. How nice it is to come home from a long day and have a hot meal delivered to your door!

9. Give a baby care package with diapers, wipes, and other baby care items that can be used later at home. You can never have enough diapers! Of course gift cards for these things are handy too.

10. Give the parents a nice journal, daily devotional, or other easy reading material. It is nice to have somewhere to keep thoughts or log of what's happening day to day and other meaningful but easy reading materials that can be picked up and read at any time and keep your thoughts positive.

11. Gather a few people to pay a month of tuition for the family, buy them a gas card, or help them financially in another way. Not only do medical bills start piling up, but when a parent is unable to work and has gas and food expenses that they wouldn't normally have, money gets tight! We were fortunate in that a good friend is involved with a foundation  that helps with education expenses when families go through medical issues or hardships. What a burden lifted!

These are just some of the generous gifts and gestures we received during our difficult time that really made a difference! We were overwhelmed with the generosity of others and are ever so grateful. Sometimes you want to help someone, but you just don't know how. I hope this will give you some ideas if you should ever need them!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Workout

Happy Valentine's Day! Last night we did a fun Partner Training Fitcamp. One of my favorite workouts because it's fun and it's HARD! We did a few others, but give these a try with your partner.
Push-Up/Squat Hold

Double Squat

Squat Hold/Weight pass
Push-Up High Fives

Sit-up Weight Pass

Ab Leg Throws

Wheelbarrow Walks

Avoiding the Flu!

This is an old post from last year, but a good one for this time of year. Especially for us and family as we are trying to stay well around our new baby!

Stay well!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Guilt of Giving Up!

I am feeling really very sad and frustrated and am having the hardest time making this decision, but I think it has been decided that I must give up on the breastfeeding and pumping. I have been pumping now for 4 months all in hopes of eventually breastfeeding once Adison got home from the hospital. I never was a good pumper. With my other babies I breastfed exclusively until I had to go back to work and when I did the pump just didn't cut it. I dried up like that. I always felt I did a pretty good job giving them a good start. We lasted about 3-4 months and I had no problem switching to formula. This time is much harder!

At first with her being only 2lbs and in the NICU I felt it was my duty to supply her what she needed. I rented a hospital grade pump which has been $60 a month for the last 3 months. I felt this was the only thing I could do for her, so keeping up with pumping every 3 hours was hard, but sooo worth it to me. I've been telling myself that if we can make it through the NICU stay then when she gets home we can really breastfeed. I was looking forward to this because number one I think it's the healthiest for mom and baby, two... I love the bonding,'s can you beat that? and four... I love the ease of it! Middle of the night feedings are so easy when you just have to bring the baby to your bed and whip it out. No warming bottles and cleaning's the easiest and most natural way. Don't think I'm some crazy pro-breastfeeding mom who doesn't think it's okay to feed formula. I think whatever works for you is what you should do. I just happen to like breastfeeding for me! So, I've been through 2 rounds of prescription Reglan to keep up my supply when its fallen off. I've tried the pumping every two hour thing and I've drank so much water I'm about to drown. I just can't keep it up. Since she has been home I've tried getting her to breastfeed. She does okay, but she's not great with feeding from the bottle as it is, so the let down of the breast drowns her. She latches great, but she gets fussy with me because there isn't much there and then she gets too much. It's been a rough road, but I didn't want to give up so easily! I just finished the Reglan again two days ago and the very next day already my supply dropped drastically. I think its time to stop, I just feel so guilty!

In one way, I think if I stop it will take some stress off of me. I've been a crazy lady trying to mix bottles, feed her, and pump. It takes me an hour at night to go through the whole routine and I'm hurting for some sleep! Maybe I use this time to sleep and actually be happier during the day. I can also get rid of the pump and the $60 a month, which will probably be the same as formula. I just hate to lose out on the bonding time that we didn't get while she was in the hospital! For 3 months I only got to see my baby for an hour or two a day. I had to ask nurses if I could feed her. I just wanted this time at home with her to nurse her when I wanted and feel the bond I felt with my other girls. I know I need to get over this feeling and I will feel so much relief after I get over the guilt.
I spoke with my doctor today and told him I just can't keep up. He reminded me of how hard it is to pump for such a long time and how well I have done. He reassured me that I have given her the best during the time it really mattered. She has gotten a great start with breastmilk those first 4 months and there is no harm in switching. My husband also made me feel better about it and has supported my decision. I really don't have much of a decision to body has pretty much made it for me. I'm sure there are other moms who have been through too. It's just part of being a mother with expectations. I just need to channel my guilt into something else. I hope we can bond through cuddling and bottle feeding. This has been such a long hard 4 months. I'm looking forward to getting rid of the stress of feeding and start enjoying other things about my baby girl.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

101 things I learned from having a Preemie

I am creating this post for a premature baby awareness site. They are asking supporters to blog about prematurity and post on March 10th. I got started early while it's fresh in my head. I decided to list the things I have learned because I have learned so much! I could probably think of more, but I thought 101 would be a nice number :)

1. The word PREEMIE doesn't just mean SMALL.
2. NICU nurses are like saints and they really do enjoy their jobs.
3. For every one month a baby is early it takes them approximately one year to catch up to peers.
4. Adjusted age really does have a purpose.
5. A baby born early won't be more advanced in anything.
6. How to read Heart Rate, Respiratory Rate, and O2 on a monitor.
7. The survival rate of a 25 weeker is 65% and how hard that is to hear.
8. Waking up to pump every 3 hours for 3 months isn't easy!
9. Our government system is majorly abused and there is little help for people who work and struggle with medical bills.
10. The difference between vent air, CPAP, and high humidity oxygen.
11. Stethoscopes come in mini sizes.
12. The dirtiest things in our world are cell phones and laptops!
13. The importance of Touch-Hold.
14. 40-50 % of preemies born at 25 weeks have "PDA" (patent ductus arteriosus) an open heart valve that normally closes within a few days of birth.
15. What a respiratory therapist really does.
16. The difference between the purple, green, blue and black scrubs.
17. That suck, swallow, breath really isn't as easy as it sounds.
18. The difference between a PIC line and an IV.
19. What "Kangarooing" is and its benefits.
20. That God does answer prayers!
21. In a time of need people just want to help...let them.
22. That you really are stronger than you think.
23. What a "gavage feeding" is.
24. How medicare works.
25. What blood types are compatible with others.
26. That babies under 2lbs 10oz automatically qualify for Social Security.
27. That it costs roughly $3,000 per night in the NICU.
28. What a Giraffe isolate is.
29. What the March of Dimes really does.
30. What a "ph probe" is.
31. What a "g-button" is.
32. That there is magic adhesive remover to get rid of tape on the face!
33. The importance of breastmilk for premature babies.
34. How imperative bed rest really is!
35. That days and hours do count when it comes to delivering early.
36. What "DIC" (disseminated intravascular coagulation) is and how deadly it is.
37. That people still do die during childbirth.
38. What it feels like to recover from a C-section
39. What "intubate" means.
40. That St. Gerard is the patron saint of expectant mothers.
41. That the 1st 5 days after premature birth is critical for the brain.
42. How important dark and quiet is for a premature developing brain.
43. What a "brady" is.
44. That Carter's carries nice preemie clothes :)
45. That the hiccups are a sign of stress.
46. How to tuck in a preemie using the snuggly, the frog, the fish, and the bendy bumper!
47. The benefits of infant massage.
48. That "PGA" isn't just a golf term.
49. The dangers of RSV for infants and preemies.
50. How steroid shots can help develop a babies lungs before birth.
51. Infant CPR.
52. That diapers come in the size of a maxi pad!
53. That build-a-bear clothes fit preemies.
54. That each preemie has a different journey. No two are alike.
55. Somehow you always make time for all your children, no matter how many.
56. It's the little things in life that really matter. The little things are sometimes the BIG things!
57. Sometimes people just don't know what to say. Don't hold it against them.
58. What a "fundoplication" is.
59. How to feed a baby through a g-button.
60. how severe acid reflux really can be.
61. That some babies will refuse to eat or get an aversion to swallowing.
62. That there are preemie foundations and resources specifically for preemies and preemie parents.
63. What a Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, and Physical Therapist does for preemies.
64. What it's like to send your baby into surgery.
65. That people do really care and really come together in a time of need.
66. How to feed a premature baby.
67. How different it is to have a preemie than a full-term baby.
68. How serious placenta previa can be and how it causes preterm delivery.
69. Medicine is like an art. No two doctors do things alike.
70. How to read a preemie's cues.
71. That a baby born before 28 weeks will be born with their eyes fuzed shut.
72. That preemies are given caffeine.
73. That ibuprophen is used to help close heart valves.
74. That NICU's use milk banks if mother's cannot produce or supply breast milk.
75. Nutramagen is a non-cows milk based formula used to fortify breast milk.
76. Many preemies start out small, but eventually catch up to peers.
77. That whatever your situation, there is always someone who has it worse.
78. To be grateful for each day you are given.
79. World prematurity day is November 17th.
80. That just because you go home with your preemie, doesnt mean it's the end of the journey.
81. That apnea is very typical of a preemie and can continue for many months.
82. That at 25 weeks a preemie's sense of smell and touch is already developed.
83. "TPN" is total parenteral nutriton, a solution of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients given intraveniously.
84. Babies born younger that 30 weeks have thin skin that is almost translucent and have a thin layer of fuzz all over, making them look more like a baby bird!
85. CC's are equivilant to milliliters and there are 30 in an ounce.
86. One in three babies born at 25 weeks will grow up normal.
87. Preemies born before 30 weeks are at high risk of developing mild cerebal palsy.
88. 20% of babies born before 30 weeks will have a major disability such as being blind, deaf, or mental retardation.
89. Babies cannot cry or make any sounds when they are on a ventilator.
90. Too much oxygen can result in vision problems in preemies.
91. A preemie must pass a car-seat test before going home.
92. Your insurance has a maximum out of pocket and your bill will be dropped after so many million dollars.
93. Preemie girls generally have a better chance of  survival than boys.
94. Preemie African Americans have a better chance of survival than Caucasians.
95. A priest will not baptize a baby in the hospital unless they know the chance of survival is slim.
96. Therapists and neonatologists like to follow up with preemies up until 3 years of age.
97. Once you leave the NICU, you will actually miss it.
98. Daycare is not an option for a preemature baby.
99. Not all parents visit their babies in the NICU and volunteers come just to hold and love them.
100. Your faith in God will get much stronger when you go through the challenges of having a preemie.
101. You can survive anything! Even when you think you won't!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Surviving the NICU

Well, I think I'm back. I am naming this post "Surviving the NICU" because that's exactly what we did....we SURVIVED. I can't call it much else. We didn't enjoy it, we didn't feel we belonged there, we didn't want to be there, we felt several times were weren't going to make it through, but we did! We finally have our baby girl home after 108 days in the NICU. I explained her birth story in an earlier post if you didn't get the background. I can't explain everything that we went through while we were there, but I was also keeping a journal on for that. It was nice to  have a way to update friends and family when the last thing you wanted to do was explain what was happening each day over and over. We have been overwhelmed by the support of our friends, family, school community, and perfect strangers. At times we didn't know what to say. It's really hard to accept so much help. You have to learn to say "yes" and "thank you". We heard time and time again how strong we were. "You are the strongest mother", "you guys are so strong, you will get through this". I read recently that sometimes the strongest people are actually the most sensitive. I believe this statement 100%. I never felt strong. Ask my husband, I am one of the most sensitive people around, especially when it comes to parenting! I just can't show it. You don't want to look like the poor sad mother, or the depressed mom who has the sick baby in the NICU. You can't cry all the time, so you have no choice but to appear strong! Trust me, you have your days. Days where you just want to complain to everyone you see about how tired you are of going back and forth to the hospital each day, or how you just want to hold your baby at night, or how you have run out of money because you are trying to take time to be with your baby each day and work shouldn't be so important. You have your days!! I have learned a lot about myself and a lot about others. I know everyone means well to always ask, "how is the baby doing?", but they never expect a loaded answer or you to REALLY tell them how your baby is doing! I did this once on a bad day and I could tell by the look on the person's face....I shouldn't have said all that! Like she was thinking, "Whoa...I shouldn't have asked!" That was one of my days. But from then on I learned that when someone asks, whether its a good day or a bad day you just say, "Oh she's good, thanks for asking". That always suits people better. They feel comfortable then. They really mean well and people want to be polite. Just be polite back.

I say we survived, because I have no idea how we really made it through this never missing a day at the hospital, raising two young children at home and both of us still working. I can't remember how we made each day work, but that's how it had to be, each day, one at a time. I couldn't even look ahead at the beginning. It was overwhelming and depressing to know she was born in October and we were told she should come home sometime around her due date, which was in January. "There is no way" I thought that we would make it to January. I wanted to die just thinking about it. Somehow we survived. We even made it through a surgery that she didn't have the best reaction to at first. It was heartbreaking!  I think I have caught just a small glimpse of what it is like for parents who's child has cancer, a lifetime disability, or another disease. I never understood how those parents survive, but they do. Our ordeal only lasted 3 months in the hospital, so I can't imagine what they must go through, but I have a tad bit more understanding. You don't think you are going to make it, you just HAVE TO, so you DO. You have a choice to make. You can either sulk about it and be constantly depressed and upset (which sometimes you want to do), or you can make the most out of what you've been given and look for the positive. Our baby was ALIVE...positive! She had no major disabilities...positive! She was fighting to survive...positive! We had a great support system..positive! We had everyone we knew and people we didn't know praying for us...positive! There was so much good in the midst of all the bad that we just had to CHOOSE to focus on the good. At times we needed to remind each other of this when one would have a bad day, but these positives really got us through.

We learned to accept the help people were willing to give. We would have never been able to survive without help with the kids, help with meals, help with monry, help through prayer. It is really hard to say yes, but people really do want to just feel like they contibuted, so I learned to let them. When I think about being in there shoes I know I would want to help, so you just accept it and be grateful! I think we have learned the true meaning of gratitude. I don't think we've ever been so grateful in our lives. We will never again take a day for granted. We are grateful for each child, each day, each gift we have been given. Although I would not wish a preemature baby on anyone, just know there is good that comes from it. You WILL survive, you will LEARN, and you will become STRONGER! And.... someday it will all be a memory. Thank you to all who helped us and supported us through this and continue to. We are forever grateful!