Posts Tagged ‘Baby’

I left my gym bag out in the rain the other night. Everything was drenched including my training log. I was reaching the end of the book anyway but this officially killed it. It’s been sitting on my table drying ever since & it is finally dry enough to carefully peel the pages apart & do a little analysis of my progress.

I started this log book on April 22nd, 2010 making me 18 months post-partum & weighing in at more than I am comfortable sharing (let’s just say NONE of the baby weight had left me).

Ending this log book on July 15th, 2011 I was 30lbs lighter & 28 weeks pregnant. I’m still not telling you my weight ’cause I suspect you can do the math.

Squatting has long been the most difficult lift for me. I started with box squats (squatting to a box with mats underneath it – as I progressed we removed mats until I the box was low enough that I was hitting depth) & 95lbs on the bar. I will admit right now that squatting brought me to tears more than once out of pure frustration at how slow my progress was.

We finally lost the box on November 2nd! That is over 6 months of weekly workouts to get my squat deep enough (the goal is hips below the knees or at least bringing the thigh parallel to the floor).

Last week my top set (heaviest of the day) was 175lbs for 6 reps.

We have found that I very much need to have some weight on the bar to help me getting to depth. With an empty bar I very much struggle to get deep enough. Interestingly the pregnancy has seemed to really help me in this respect because it has helped my hip flexibility in conjunction with attention to stretching. In February I competed & almost missed all 3 of my squat attempts due to depth but now most of my squats while training are deep enough.

Deadlift has long been my favourite lift ’cause it is my best one (how can you not like something you are good at?!).

At the start of this logbook I pulled 185lbs for 5 reps as my top set. Last week I pulled 220 for 5 reps on my top set. My form has improved here too with the improvements in my hip flexibility making it easier to get into a good starting position & to keep my hips down therefore not rounding my back so much.

Bench press has progressed from a lift I didn’t enjoy to one I look forward to. My first bench session had me pushing 100lbs for 3 reps. Last week I hit 105lbs for 10 reps. The numbers here don’t look very impressive but my form has improved significantly. It took many months to find my arch (in my back) & utilize my legs in the lift. This spring we backed my numbers off twice because of form issues but I’m pleased that I am working back up.

I have not tested one rep maxes for any of my lifts recently so currently my known one rep maxes are: Squat – 190lbs, Deadlift – 320lbs & Bench – 115lbs. I must admit I am anxious to be able to test these after our baby arrives as I think it will be interesting.

Lessons learned over the past 14 months:

1. Progress doesn’t tend to happen in nice, predictable, evenly-spaced steps. It’s more likely to be seen in leaps, plateaus & back-steps.

2. Perseverance takes concerted effort at times. It is SO much easier to stop & the world is happy to accept your excuses, in fact sometimes it seems the excuses are constantly being given to you.

3. Sometimes it is necessary to ignore those around you. This has become especially true since I found out I was pregnant. Everyone agrees that if you were doing it before you were pregnant you can continue it while pregnant – in theory. In practice very few actually believe this & I have spent the past 28 weeks fielding questions & concerns & doubts about whether or not I should be lifting at all.

4. It’s ok to cry in the gym, as long as you keep going. I haven’t shed tears there in some time but when I am pushing through a tough set & feeling like I cannot finish I can remember those times I cried but continued & pulled through & it gives me the strength to keep going. Those memories also remind me why it is important to stick with the workouts – I never want to go back to that out of shape place.

5. Building confidence in one area of your life really helps build it elsewhere. I think I hold myself taller & present with more confidence & life overall. I know there is something I am working hard at & getting results in. It boosts my morale.

I am excited to see what results the new logbook will reveal when I reach it’s end. It is interesting to see the numbers grow but it’s the memories of those workouts that are a big part of the progress. I can look at some of the numbers & see that there has been little improvement but I know that now I power through those accessory sets with strength & stamina where the first few months were painful & slow. I can feel twinges in my legs or back or shoulders the day after a workout now whereas a year ago I was aching for days from a similar workout – my recovery has improved so significantly.

On a related note I developed gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy. It was an incredibly stressful time & required not only the use of insulin (despite my best efforts at the time with my diet & exercise) but a short hospitalization to get that insulin adjusted properly. Not surprisingly I have once again been challenged with gestational diabetes but am able to keep my numbers within range through my diet & exercise alone.


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12 Weeks

We made it to that magical 12 week mark & I still cannot believe I’m pregnant.

It was the same way when I was pregnant with Mr. Magoo. In fact it was that way until the day he was born – Grumpy Bear & I would look at each other daily & one of us would say in amazement “We’re actually pregnant!”

I distinctly remember shortly after his birth the three of us lay on the bed in quiet bliss. We looked at each other & just whispered “Wow – we have a baby!”

I always assumed that that disbelief that our dreams were becoming true was because of how long we discussed the “one day”. How many years we tried & yearned to become parents unsuccessfully.

But here I am once again in disbelief despite the journey being different this time around. After years of trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant you start to make other plans, to wrap your mind around the idea that it may never happen. But this time we felt certain it would happen. We knew it would take some time & probably would not be easy but it would happen.

So why does all still feel so unreal? Maybe it’s like this for everyone & the infertility is not actually part of it.

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It’s been almost 2 weeks since the powerlifting competition I entered in Toronto. It was a good weekend overall, decent driving weather, a well behaved 2 year old, visiting with good friends & of course the meet.

Me! At the end of a very long day.

The day started off with, what for me is, a very early rise of 6:00 as I wanted to be on the road by 6:30. We had an hour drive in the snow to be there in time for weigh-in at 8:00.

After weigh-in we got settled & waited for the games to begin. Powerlifting competitions run with three lifts; squat, benchpress & deadlift. For each lift you get 3 attempts & to move on you must successfully make at least one of these attempts. Once you chose a weight you can go up on the next lift but you cannot go down.

Starting with squat was not a confidence booster for me. I struggle with hitting depth on squat (your thighs must break parallel with the floor at the bottom end of the lift). It took me a year to be able to get anywhere near deep enough & every training session it takes a lot of dynamic warm-up & couple warm-up sets of squats before I started reliably hitting depth. As well, the squat is what makes this a first meet for me (I had previously competed in 3 push/pulls – therefore no squat).

We had worked out my starting weight in advance & I felt confident with my opener of 170lbs but when I got on the platform I failed to meet depth. This left me nervous & I requested 170lbs for my 2nd attempt only to have the same problem which brought a landslide of advice from one of the judges & other competitors (it’s really a very supportive sport) which really just made me more nervous. Interestingly half of the women were in my position – first two attempts unsuccessful. The third lift had to be it or my day was over. It was with a giant sigh of relief that I saw those 3 white lights.

There are 3 judges & each gives either a white light for a good lift or a red light for no lift. You need at least 2 white lights for the lift to count.

Here I am getting set up for my first (unsuccessful) squat attempt. (I will have you know I debated a LONG time as to whether or not to post these pics of me in my little stretchy suit.)

The second lift of the day was the benchpress. This was the one that took the most time as along with the 5 flights of lifters there was an additional 6 flights of lifters who were competing in bench only.

My first attempt was 105lbs which I missed due to impatience. The judge gives you commands, when to begin, when to lift & when to rack. This means there is a pause with the bar touching your chest to ensure you have good control. The pause was much longer than I anticipated & I started to press before the command. My second attempt I took 115lbs for a solid press. My third attempt was 120lbs & didn’t leave my chest. I thought it was interesting that every single female lifter missed their last attempt.

Huh! I guess that 120lbs did come a little ways off my chest!

The final lift of the day (& my favourite!) was deadlift. I started with 270lbs then moved onto 290lbs & finished up with 310lbs. I was excited for the 310lbs as I had attempted this weight at the push/pull back in December & missed it thanks to my lousy grip. I’ve been working on my grip & felt confident about this number.

It was ugly - but I got up.

The end results of the day: I finished my first full meet successfully, I brought home a shiny first place medal for my weight class (guess how many in my class?) & pulled the biggest deadlift of all the women (that’s the part I’m most proud of).

Oh, all this while 8 weeks pregnant!

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Happy Halloween

Mr. Magoo "drew" this face on the pumpkin - my friend Supergirl did a fabulous job interpreting his scribbles, don't you think?

One of the things that has not panned out for me as a mother quite the way I envisioned has been holiday celebrations. I thought I’d be a LOT more into them but instead I’m finding I’m actually pretty laid back about them.

This was Mr. Magoo’s 2nd Halloween (ok, 3rd, but I was definitely NOT up to dressing him up at a week old) & he has yet to dress up for the event. Last year I had plans for a spider costume (with me as his spiderweb), even bought the stuff I needed to make the costume but we ended up with H1N1 & I didn’t bother. This year we have been out of town for the past week & once again it just didn’t happen – although we did carve pumpkins – twice.

Ah well, there is always next year.

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Ok – I’m a little late in posting this but it’s been a very busy week (I’ll get to that later) but my little man turned TWO on Monday!!! It is crazy how fast time can go by.

A talented cake decorator I am not but the icing was delicious (my little man certainly thought so as that was the only part of the cake he ate).

It was a lucky coincidence that a few friends were visiting from out of town & could come over for a meal & little party. Combined with all the grandma’s & it was a pretty full house.

There were presents...

and cake...

and even a homemade crown for the little prince.

At two he is a pretty special little guy – although I am more than a little biased. Here is an excerpt from the e-mail I sent to our doctors in Costa Rica with a birthday update: “He is a joy to us (most) every day! At two he is 15 kilos (33lbs) & 92 cm (36”) tall with big hands & big feet. He runs & jumps & climbs & gets into everything. But he also loves to help us with everything from building the back deck & fixing to the toilet to vacuuming & baking muffins. He “talks” a lot but still has only a few words – I think we are at about 4 dozen in total right now – enough to get his point across. He is a very happy little boy who is usually pretty easy to live with. He has a wonderful personality with a sense humour that is developing with each day. In August we started potty training & it has gone wonderfully – we haven’t used a diaper day or night in over a month now, although I do my fair share of wet laundry!

Overall he has been very healthy with just a few colds, one case of roseola & a case of hand, foot & mouth disease all of which he weathered like a trooper.He is a wonderful eater – which brings envious comments from many other parents of picky toddlers (I realize I am VERY lucky here!) & he is still very much enjoying nursing.”

He was very pleased with his new wagon from his godparents.

We spaced out the gifts over two days to stretch out the interest & make it less overwelming for him. This was the last one - a travel carmat I made for him. The orange along the edge has pockets to put matchbox cars in & then the whole thing rolls up & goes with us.

We’re in New Brunswick now visiting friends so I will have pics from our trip up soon. Tomorrow we are going to the Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy – I am very much looking forward to that as last time I was in New Brunswick my plans to make it there were foiled & it’s been on my list of things I’d like to see ever since.

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Diaperbutt & The Dolls

When I was pregnant I lovingly made all sorts of things for Diaperbutt dreaming of the baby to be. Knowing that I as a baby/young child LOVED (as in could not sleep without) a silky edged blanket I thought a blanket dolly would be very special for my baby to be.

I picked out a super soft blanket material for this little dolly. I figured blue was at least a little bit boyish - not that it really matters.

Well, along comes Diaperbutt. I will admit I tucked that little dolly in with him many nights but he would just push it away. If I tried to tuck it between him & I to encourage an attachment (foolishly) he would unlatch & fuss & push until the darn thing was not touching him.

I wasn’t too saddened by this as he really hasn’t shown any love towards any stuffed animal or doll. In fact the exact opposite – he seems to be completely creeped out by them (so much so that he completely abandoned his much loved wagon when my Mom put a blow up cow in it!).

That is until this morning. Like many week day mornings we headed to the Early Years Centre here in town this morning (which is thankfully air conditioned) & he spent nearly an hour of the hour & a half we were there playing with the dolls. He caressed their faces, pushed them around in the strollers, wanted me to undress them & re-dress them, fed them, even kissed them.

Makes me wish all the more we had a real baby in the house he (we) could cuddle & love.

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Sharing Secrets?!

Sharing secrets?!

Diaperbutt & I spent the afternoon visiting my close friend a couple of weeks ago. Diaperbutt & her lovely little girl get along pretty well & I happily snuggled her new baby. A lovely way to spend an afternoon.

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