a unit of weight in general use equal to 16 oz. avoirdupois (0.4536 kg)
The road to healthy
Once upon a time in a land far away I was the definition of unhealthy. I’ve spent the past ten-ish years of my life working with trainers, friends, doctors, and myself to determine what my version of healthy looks like. I believe there isn’t a one sized fits all diet/workout program, and I’m thrilled that I’ve found what works for me.
I’ve wanted to be a mom my entire life. I was prepared to love every minute of pregnancy and to embrace my growing baby bump. I was completely prepared to travel, workout, and glow. I wasn’t prepared for the influx of hormones and the never-ending feels.
July 18, 2017
I had recently committed myself to compete in a CrossFit competition hosted by Black Hive and in doing so, I agreed to start working out with one of my teammates at 6AM. The workout of the day was 10 down to 1 power snatches with a rope climb after each round, I threw up twice during the workout. I kept powering through it because I have so many food allergies that I figured I had just eating something I shouldn’t have.
Later that day while I was volunteering for a non-profit I work with, Catty Shack Wildlife Sanctuary, I couldn’t shake my exhaustion. It didn’t matter how much coffee I drank, I was pretty sure I was going to fall asleep standing. I chalked it up to doing my first 6AM workout in a really long time – typically I’m an afternoon fitness girl – until a girlfriend put the idea in my head, “maybe you’re pregnant.”
As I was driving home I stopped at CVS, bought a test, and drove as fast as I could home. Ran into the door, straight to the bathroom, now focused on the possibility, but not really believing that it could be possible. Christian and I had literally just discussed adoption.
We were having a security system installed by the gym owner and one of the coaches, and as I walked out of the bathroom Christian announced he was going to get us all lunch. Perfection! I could easily go back into the bathroom undetected, and I did, as soon as C was out the door I rushed back to view my results.
I walked out of the bathroom crying elephant tears, and shaking. The guys installing the cameras definitely looked a little confused and I couldn’t keep it out, “I’m pregnant.” They became a little more surprised when I told them I literally just found out. I hurried to wrap the test in birthday wrapping paper so I had a way to tell Christian when he came home. His birthday isn’t until August 1st, I obviously wasn’t going to wait that long to tell him.
Isn’t his reaction priceless?
We confirmed my pregnancy with a nurse practitioner and it became real. As I was so early on we waited to do an initial ultrasound. Finally, on August 7th we were given a project due date of March 27, 2018. I found out extremely early on, and the morning sickness was no joke. Whoever decided to coin it “morning sickness” is the worst human imaginable. It was all hours sickness.
All I could do to keep food down was to eat buckets of carbs. Rapidly, I gained weight – and as I was ten pounds over my happy weight when I got pregnant, and my happy weight is 165 pounds, I was terrified of what the number on the scale would be come March. And, I’ve never struggled in saying I’m 165, or feeling confident in a bikini at that weight.
First trimester I easily packed on twenty pounds, and in doing quick math I figured I would give birth right around 235 pounds. Three trimesters, 20 pounds each trimester, sixty pounds total, it just didn’t sit right with me. And I still find myself going back and forth between wondering why I’m so obsessed with the weight gain and feeling guilty that I’m so self-absorbed when all that really mattered is that baby Kai is born healthy.
This week it happened. At twenty-six weeks, I am no longer wavering back and forth in the 190’s and the 200’s. It’s been a steady stream of seeing this little number on the scale.
I’m twenty six weeks in and I’ve gained 25 pounds. I’m eating healthy, I’m active, and I understand that weight gain is part of this process. But, man, did I not expect that hitting that number would be such a mind-f*ck. And I didn’t expect to feel so guilty about feeling bad about the weight gain.
….and I certainly wasn’t prepared for people to say things like “are you sure there’s just one in there” and “that’s going to be a huge baby” so early on.
I understand there are plenty of amazing doctors in the world. Sadly, I haven’t seen many of them. I went five and a half years without a period. Two of the five and a half years were due to the mirena IUD, three and a half years were due to a variety of assumptions from doctors including that I was premenopausal. I can tell you, when you’re thirty-one and being told you don’t ovulate and that you’re about to go through menopause, your outlook on becoming a mom isn’t very large.
I had my mirena for two years when I felt it puncture my cervix. It was a Friday and I was working out at CrossFit 405, when coming up from a squat I could feel it shift. The first hospital I went to did an ultrasound, sent me on my way with pain pills, and told me I was fine. I knew I wasn’t fine. I didn’t take any pain pills, proceeded about my normal activity as best as possible, and went to a second hospital on Monday when I was unable to shake the pain. Begrudgingly the doctor ordered an additional ultrasound, sure ‘nuff I needed emergency surgery.
This wasn’t the first time I was disappointed in a doctor’s first opinion. Like the doctor that blamed my stomach problems on my mommy being dead, when it turned out I had polyps in my colon. Or the doctor that would rather me pop pills than modify my diet.
The slew of health problems that arose after the mirena removal was unreal, including very embarrassing physical therapy. Think, legs in stirrups for hour long sessions two to three times a week. Think about a knot in your most sensitive place, being worked out with force.
We tried to get my period back with birth control, eventually was told I don’t ovulate, and was diagnosed with PCOS via blood work. In addition, I was sent to a reproductive endocrinologist who would diagnose me with Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. We did an MRI on my brain and found a growth on my pituitary gland, which reminds me, as soon as this baby is born I really need to get this checked out.
Health VS the appearance of health
I met Brandon Henry when I moved to Santa Clarita, he was in charge of competitor programming and also who I spoke to about my diet. See, back then the appearance of health mattered more to me than actually being healthy. What mattered to me was being able to deadlift more than the dudes, to be able to wear a bikini ‘round the clock, and to be a mediocre crossfitter.
I’ll never forget the conversation we had where he tried to discourage me from being on competitor programming, but rather dialing my fitness back and focusing on healing my gut and hormonal imbalance. He wanted to remove carbs completely, and stop me from stressing my body out. He gave me the option to choose what I wanted to do — but urged me to focus on my health. I didn’t listen.
It wasn’t until a year after I left Santa Clarita that I contacted him, frustrated that nothing I was doing was helping me perform in the gym, that my period was still gone, that I couldn’t keep putting weight on that he finally convinced me to start a keto diet.
Within weeks of being on keto I had a full on period, the first in five and a half years. After becoming fat adapted I was performing better in the gym, able to run my first half marathon sub 2:30, eliminated food cravings, and didn’t find myself hungry 24/7.
My boyfriend is 47 years old. He has only been able to get me pregnant. His ex-wife had a kid going into their relationship, and his ex-girlfriend became pregnant as soon as they broke up. No matter how hard I tried to convince him to try keto because of his severe sugar addiction and ridiculous mood swings, he wouldn’t listen to me. Big ups to Rami Odeh who was able to explain the new diet he was on that changed his life — keto.
Roughly two months after he began keto, Christian and I spoke about adoption, and agreed on a timeline. If I wasn’t pregnant by the time he was 50 we would try to adopt. The following week I threw up twice during a workout, with all my insane food allergies I just assumed it was something I ate. After texting a friend, I was convinced to try and take a pregnancy test. The moment “pregnant” popped up on the test, I’ll never forget.
Christian also suffers from hormonal imbalances. And I believe us both going keto was the key to us being able to create this little life that has been cooking in me for 24 weeks.
I wasn’t classified as high risk until it was discovered I have very minor placenta previa. Doctors are 99% sure this’ll clear up on it’s own, and all my research shows this is pretty common this early on as a pregnant woman’s uterus isn’t very large in the earlier stages of pregnancy.
I’m excited to give birth, and I’m hopeful that I can delivery baby Kai naturally — vaginally with no drugs. I’m scared I won’t have this opportunity if the pesky placenta thing won’t clear up. I’m scared doctors overly prescribe c-sections. I’m scared of recovery while baby daddy is running 3,000 miles.
Please, spare me your experiences in an effort to lesson my feelings.
I’m excited to meet baby Kai, a baby that doctor’s didn’t believe could ever be created. I’m excited to see what this next chapter of my life looks like.