I am the very proud mom of 3 lovely little ladies. My first pregnancy was twins. I walked, ate decently (or what I thought was decent), slept semi-ok, except for some annoying hip pain, heartburn and the need to pee every few hours. Although annoying, it seemed to be on par with my friends who were having a singleton birth. (Yeah. that’s actually what having one baby is called. Too funny.) It was all pretty uneventful until about 34 weeks in. I began getting really bad carpal tunnel syndrome. My hands and fingers went numb and tingly. I wore splints on both hands/wrists. I had gained close to 60 lbs and began to feel completely uncomfortable in my body. My feet hurt and swelled so much that all I could wear were crocs. (I know, right:))
At 37 weeks I had a doctors check up. My ladies were doing great, their heartbeats were strong and they were moving ALOT! But... my OB said they hadn't grown a whole lot since the week before and we should go ahead and induce. A bit confused, my husband and I were sent home to get my bag and told to go back to the hospital in an hour. At the time, I didn't question my doctor. I just did as I was told. (Did I mention she just happened to be on call that night? Pretty convenient for her.)
I was induced and the contractions started coming on strong. Although I originally wanted to have a natural birth with no epidurals, I learned very quickly, induction makes that nearly impossible. The pain was very intense. I couldn't seem to get on top of my contractions. They were overwhelming. I was in so much pain I agreed to an epidural. It did nothing. I received another epidural that also did nothing. The pain was so intense that they gave me some other medication. (I honestly don't even know what it was.) What I do know was that I started to black out and hallucinate.
With 23 hours of absolute hell under my belt I called it quits. After an emergency c-section my lovely ladies were born. They were healthy and beautiful weighing around 5 lbs each. For this I was elated. But my labor had gone past the doctor’s shift and she didn’t even deliver my babies. A little bit funny. Not really.
I, on the other hand had never felt worse in my life. The next 6 weeks were filled with:
-Relentlessly painful carpal tunnel
-Upper and lower back pain
-Very low immune system
-Depression (I cried constantly)
At around 6 weeks my carpal tunnel subsided which was a blessing. It was the longest 6 weeks of my life. I was given a prescription for anti-depressants and they helped a bit. At least I didn't feel like crying all the time. The body pain continued, along with the insomnia (which I never had issues with before getting pregnant), low immune system (I caught every cold and flu bug imaginable.) Then, for the cherry on top, I started having horrible stomach issues. For three months (sorry if this is TMI) every time I ate ANYTHING, I had to run to the bathroom. Yep, diarhea. FOR THREE MONTHS! I went to the doc, got tested for bacteria, intestinal parasites etc. They found nothing.
I was week, and losing too much weight because I wasn’t digesting anything. I had no joy. The light was out my eyes. I was just going through the motions and not enjoying motherhood. I was a shell, lost and scared.
I wanted ME back.
This is when I decided to take matters into my own hands. I became my own advocate and stopped being a victim. I began reading and researching natural ways to heal my body. Here's a list of a few things I started to do.
I began to:
-Eat whole/real foods
-Eat tons of VEGGIES and low sugar fruits (also started juicing to get even more into my diet)
-Cut down on sweets and white flour
-Take probiotics (I now ferment my own food, which is much cheaper and even filled with more probiotics than supplements. And it's super easy/fun!) This stopped my tummy issue it it's tracks!!
-Strength training to fix my muscle imbalances. These occur during pregnancy and postnatal b/c of postural changes and how we hold and carry the baby and car seat, nursing ect.
-Stopped eating out so often
-Interval running and HIIT training
-Strengthen my core with smart postnatal exercise (no crunches!!)
-Upped my Omega-3's
-Foam rolling and stretching
-Take magnesium supplement (really helped my insomnia)
-EFT (you may think it's kooky, but it changed my world!)
-Became a believer in positive thinking and a life of gratitude
Guess what? I began to feel like me again. The tummy troubles stopped. My mind felt clear and happy. My body pain went away and I began to sleep again! Nothing short of a miracle. And yes, my next pregnancy and birth were amazing!
I gave my body the tools it needed to heal and thrive and it rewarded me. I encourage every woman pre- and postnatal to love and nurture her body. Eat well, move well and think well. My hope is that my story inspires other mamas who are struggling the way I did. To know that they are not alone and that there is HOPE! That's why I founded MightyMamaFitness.com. It is so much more than losing weight, mamas. Yes that is definitely a perk! You deserve to feel strong, happy, energetic, and sexy. Not for anyone else, but for you.
PS.- Had a tough time after baby? Did something that helped and changed your life? Leave a comment below and let me know! Let us learn from each other!