Postpartum: 3 months

Stats: 3 lbs below pre-pregnancy, just like like time with Sofia. Waist still 2 cm off from before pregnancies so most of the weight came from butt, thigh and rest of the body.

Although I gained 9 lbs more this time. I was still 8 lbs. up at 6 weeks, so I lost 11 lbs over 6 weeks. Woo… that’s a lot. I think it’s a combination of exclusive breastfeeding (over supply again this time, about 6-8 oz extra per day) and running. Once I started running around 6-7 weeks postpartum, the weight just melt away. Need to up my food intake to keep my training and not lose more weight.

Regarding Diastasis Recti. I’d say my gap is less than 1 cm now. I did physical therapy for a month or so, twice a week, and followed MUTU system regime exactly as prescribed. Most of the exercises from MUTU system are the same ones that my physical therapy recommended me to do. So I am really happy with MUTU. It requires time commitment though, so I’m lucky to be on maternity leave. I do both the core and intensive exercises 3-5 times a week. It takes about 40 min each day. I get sweaty after it. It makes my core, back, glut and legs stronger, perfect strength training for my running. So happy with it. I think I’ll continue to do those after I finish the program (in 1 week).

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I’m one of the luckiest ones to bounce back pretty quickly. I think part is gene, but most importantly the healthy life style. Eating clean and exercising regularly do wonders to our body.

This is probably my last pregnancy, although it was harder than the first one, I still enjoyed it. I still find amazing how I was able to grow a person inside me, feed her and give her birth, and still make her grow until now. I hope I can continue exclusive breastfeeding until she’s ready to wean, but at least for a year. It’s such an amazing experience, both physically and mentally. 🙂

Postpartum at 6 weeks.

I bounced back very quickly with Sofia and I was curious to see how I bounce back (if I do) this time. I gained in total 22 lbs this time, that’s 9 lbs more than with Sofia, mainly because I was eating more. By the end of the pregnancy, I felt huge and all kinds of discomfort. Back pain was constant and I felt leaking often.

After I delivered Lizzy, I had a belly that is like 6 months pregnant. Tony was surprised but I knew it was normal. The after pain was so much worse this time. I had to take pain medicine for two days to deal with it. Apparently, it’s normal to have stronger contractions after each pregnancy.

Week 1: Once at home, I started wearing a band during the day but zero activity. One week later, my belly disappeared magically.

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although my mid-section was still lose but most of the belly went away.  I lost 11 lbs the first week.

Week 3: I don’t think my belly size changed much but maybe it was less fluffy.

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lost another 2 lbs.

After the first month, I started to take short walks and Tracy Anderson’s arm workout couple times a week. I also wanted to start to do abs but after two days, something felt strange. It was not pain but some kind of discomfort in my pelvic area. Another thing happened. I stopped wearing the band and I noticed that by the end of the day, my belly looked like 5 months pregnant, only the part from the belly bottom down. It was strange. I didn’t have that with Sofia. So I started doing research of what’s going on. I found out that I have diastasis recti (i.e. ab separation). I checked and I probably have 2 cm gap. That’s not big. Some women have 10 cm. Other than it causes me to have a belly, it also causes back pain, leakage and weak pelvic area. Furthermore, if one left it untreated and does certain workouts (like abs, plank, bicycle crunches), it could make it worse. So I immediately stopped all kinds of exercises that engage ab.

Week 6: this picture is taken in the morning. My belly is 3 times that at the end of the day no matter what I eat.

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Lost another pound, so I was still 8 lbs up from pre-pregnancy at 6 weeks, mainly in my butt and thighs.

Course of action to treat diastasis recti:

  • I signed up the MUTU System. It seems to be the most effective in the market. It’s a 12 weeks program. I’m in week 1. It involves daily walking and 15 min workout for the moment. It doesn’t feel I’m doing much core workout but according to Wendy, the founder, I’m building the foundation of a strong core.
  • Since I am not supposed to run and not recommendable to do elliptical, I am taking long walks first thing in the morning. I head out very early, when it’s not too hot and when all the family is still sleeping. I listen to podcasts and breath fresh air. It clears my mind, sets me in good mood for the day. I really enjoy this 80 min of ME time.
  • I got the clearance from my OB to resume regular activities. She checked my belly and confirmed that I have mild diastasis recti. She referred me to a physical therapist. Hopefully she/he can help me recover even faster.
  • Continue to eat clean. No processed food, lots of veggies and good protein.

Will report back the progress.

 

Pregnancy: 37-40 weeks

I can’t believe I’m actually writing at my due date. Because Sofia was born on 39.5 weeks… this is the most pregnant I’ve ever been. I’m super excited and anxious. Every night when I go to sleep I wonder if tonight is the night. But I always wake up “disappointed”. Last week I wasn’t mentally ready… but now we all are. I stopped going to work since last Thursday because I really thought she’d be here by now. I’m getting more uncomfortable these days… but most importantly we all so want to meet her at this point.

My belly continued to expand as everywhere else :(. I feel a bit bloated and puffy.. but well… I’m so close to the end.

At 37 weeks

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at 39W2Ds

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at 40 weeks

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comparing to my last pregnancy at 39 weeks, the belly is similar size I think but my butt, thighs and arms are bigger

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  • Since week 39 I’m 4 cm dilated and I didn’t feel anything. At 40 weeks, the doctor did membrane sweep, that evening I lost my mucus plug but no contraction. I’m scheduled for a non-stress test and another appt next tuesday, and then we’ll discuss options to get induced. I really hope she comes naturally this time, but I don’t want to pass 41 weeks either.
  • Overall discomfort. I started walking like a penguin because of the belly weight. I often feel cramps in my inner legs. Back pains and sore hips continue.. although it got better in the last two weeks. I get a bit swollen sometimes by the end of the day.
  • Sleep: sleeping well most nights,. 8-9 hours. But sometimes I feel my belly causes me discomfort because when I sleep on my side, it doesn’t have any support, and my stomach muscle gets pulled. Also, I’m becamse very light sleeper as I wake up 4-5 times a night to go to the bathroom. Tony snores most nights, so since this week, he’s been sleeping in the basement.
  • Cravings: no particular craving, just eating more.
  • Appetite/hunger. normal most of days.
  • Exercise: I’ve been trying to do a bit more these days to trigger labor. I’d do my morning 45 min exercise and then 2-3 miles quick walk in the afternoon.
  • Other symptom: discharge.. a lot… and tinted with pink blood after the membrane sweep.
  • Skin: good.
  • Weight: 21 lbs mostly from eating more in general…. hopefully some of them got to the baby.

Hopefully next post is about birth story. 🙂

Pregnancy: 36 weeks

I’m one week away from full term! Can’t believe how close we’re getting there. Although my body is getting more comfortable lately, I’m not decided if I want her out right now or few more weeks…. because sleepless nights are looming.. and I so enjoy my night sleeps.

  • Hip and back soreness and sporadic cramping. Hip and back soreness is a constant discomfort these days. I’d wake up with the soreness and only getting myself busy can take my mind away from it. It’s uncomfortable but nothing helps except a massage. I get one once a week but that’s not close to enough. Since few days ago, I started to get cramping at the inner thighs which makes me uncomfortable to walk. And since yesterday, I’ve been having vagina soreness/pressure/cramping too. Not fun.
  • Sleep: still sleeping well and a lot. 8-10 hrs is what I need. Naps not so much lately because it seems to disturb my night sleep. I’m trying not to drink too much liquid before bed otherwise I’d get up every half hour.
  • Cravings: no particular craving, just eating more overall.
  • Appetite/hunger. normal I’d say.
  • Exercise: the usual but slowing down. I can only do 3.5 miles/hr now.
  • Other symptom: a lot of discharge!!! It’s insane how much I get these days, I need to change panties twice a day to stay clean. Sometimes I get really thick discharge and I think it’s probably my mucus plug getting out slowly.
  • Skin: good.
  • Weight: 18 lbs. I’ve been gaining 1 lb every week consistently until 35 weeks. At 36 weeks appt it has stopped. We will see what happens in the next 3 weeks.
  • Misc: the ultrasound that I had to do due to measuring small was totally fine. The baby was doing fine, meaning over 5 lbs at 34 weeks. At this week’s appt I was still measuring small but I’m not surprised. I’m a small person and the baby’s head is really down already. As long as she’s healthy, it’s fine that she’s not 8 lb baby.

The baby continued to grow

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although I feel bigger this time around, comparing with my last pregnancy, actually the belly is about the same

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she’s been moving  A LOT, which makes my belly looking really funny sometimes.

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I got the feeling that she’ll arrive before 40 weeks… maybe because I’m feeling more uncomfortable… but I just got that feeling. We’ve prepared the house for her already, I’ll pack the hospital this weekend and we’re all set!!! 🙂 So excited!!!

Pregnancy weeks 30-33

Time flies with this pregnancy. I’m becoming HUGE!!!! I know I know… for others I’m still petite and not showing… but to me, I feel I could burst anytime.

Pics at 32 weeks

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the front side still can’t tell much when I’m dressed

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a comparison with last pregnancy. I think I’m bigger and carrying higher

Left (2012), right (2016)

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Left (2016), right (2012)

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at 33 weeks

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  • Back pain, hip soreness and exhaustion. I’m having more frequent back pain these days, on the sitting bone, and left hip sore most of the days. I am having prenatal massage almost every weekend to sooth it, but it is still getting worse. Some nights, I’m so uncomfortable that I can’t sleep well.  Exhausted ALL DAY LONG. I’d have maybe 1 or 2 days that I don’t feel that way during the day, but by the end of the day I can’t wait to go to sleep.
  • Sleep: a lot of sleep I need, average 9+ hrs a day. Overall good deep sleep with 1-2 trips to the bathroom. But for the past two nights, I was so uncomfortable with my back and belly that I couldn’t find a comfortable position, so I kept tossing around until it’s time to get up. I guess good sleep nights are counting.
  • Cravings: not real cravings but I make sure to increase my intake of protein and overall calories.
  • Appetite/hunger. Normal most of the days, but I did have quite a few days that I was a bottomless pit… just kept eating and eating. The good thing is that I usually prepare my food so I don’t end up eating junk. And as long as I’m eating real food, I feel good to eat more when hungry.
  • Exercise: the usual but slowing down. I can only do 3.5 miles/hr now.
  • Other symptom: pink eyes.
  • Skin: good.
  • Pain: back pain, sore hips.
  • Weight: 16 lbs. I’ve gained more than last time already, no wonder I feel bigger. I think it’s a combination of bigger baby and me eating more lately. 🙂
  • Misc: I had my 33 weeks check up this Monday with a new doctor. To my surprise, she said that I’m measuring too small (like 26-27 weeks?). That’s impossible because I feel I’m bigger this time and with Sofia I was always on track. I guess they just didn’t measure it properly. The good thing is that she ordered an ultrasound to check the size. YEY! We’ll get to see our baby girl once more (scheduled for next Wednesday). Hopefully everything is well.

 

Pregnancy: 26-29 weeks

It has been another month that flied by. Although there are days that I feel that I’ve been pregnant forever, most of the time I feel that this pregnancy is passing quicker than the last one. After the scary episode, I didn’t bleed again, thanks God!!!  However, I was feeling weak since then. I took a week off from work to rest at home, doing nothing but lying down and reading, but two weeks later, I still find myself feeling exhausted most of the days and needing nap of 1-2 hrs everyday. It could be that I’m into third trimester, but it also could be that I became anemic after the blood loss. In any case, I’ve been taking it easy when I feel that way, and let Tony do most of the house work, and simply let things pile up without stressing it too much. I guess I need to continue with this attitude until the end.

Let’s see how much the belly grew during this time.

Here’s what I looked like at 27 weeks

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I felt huge by then but not too much from the front

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belly button has been out from few weeks ago… looking round

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Usually people say that belly gets bigger in the second pregnancy because muscles are lose, so I did a comparison with the previous time and indeed the belly looks a bit bigger.. just a bit

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and it seems that I’m carrying a bit higher this time too.

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At 29 weeks… belly continued to grow, as well as other parts of the body… pilling on fat in some hidden places 😉

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  • Exhaustion and fatigue are the main thing this month. I’ve been pretty relax at work too. After the episode everyone seems to be “nicer” and less demanding than normal, just tell me to take it easy. No problem 🙂 I can do that. So I’ve been leaving work half hour earlier lately, which I really appreciate.
  • Sleep: good most of the days. There are still days that I wake up early like 3am and have problem going back to sleep, but it occurs 1-2 times a week top. Most of the days I still sleep from 9:30-5:45am, sound sleep.
  • Cravings: carb loading continued, homemade WW bread, banana cakes, cereal, etc. Whenever I start, I can’t stop. But I’m not stressing over it too much, just let it go and enjoy the food. At least I’m indulging in healthy food.
  • Appetite/hunger. Normal but I’ve been eating more. Most of the nights I ended up feeling so full that I can barely move, sometimes it’s food, other times it’s bloating.
  • Exercise: 45 min of incline walking or ET. But I’ve slowed down in pace and intensity. I easily lose breath these days and I’m just listening to my body and slow down when I feel that’s the way to go.
  • Other symptom: major nose bleed which left me anemic. 😦
  • Skin: good.
  • Pain: none.
  • Weight: 11 lbs.
  • Misc: Sofia is taking seriously the sister business. Nowadays, she prefers us to call her sister than her name. She’d ask where’s the sister every morning, and asks me frequently whether she’s moving or not. She’s been caring too, whenever I feel soreness or tiredness, she’d offer massage to me. Such a sweet girl.

Scary 24 hrs!

We had a terrifying episode last Thursday. I had severe nose bleed, just as what happened when I was pregnant with Sofia. But this time it was worse, much more blood was lost!

On Thursday, I felt tired the whole morning, I even told Tony over lunch that I might be getting sick. And then I went back to office, making time to be ready to go to the OB for my 25th week’s appt. Suddenly I felt something weird in my upper nose, and immediately I thought, oh no, I will bleed. Last time with Sofia, I had the nose bleeding at 30 weeks, so I was not expected it to happen so early, but was somehow waiting for it anyway. The blood came out in a rapid stream, not a little bit of blood, A LOT OF BLOOD, NONSTOP! Immediately, I put the trash can in front of me to catch it because papers would not do it. Meanwhile, I called a friend whose office is just in front of mine to call Tony and 911. Tony came in <2 min, shocked and scared. He didn’t know what to do but giving me more papers. More colleagues showed up to see what happened and offered help. But at that point, nothing could be done but wait for the ambulance. 20 min later, the ambulance showed up and I was transported to the GW ER. By then, although I was still bleeding, it was less than when started.

When we arrived the ER, I told them my weird history of nose bleeding during pregnancy only. The doctor came pretty quickly, checked the situation and suggested to put some medicine before they can take a look and cauterize the bleeding points. By then, the bleeding stopped. We waited for half hour and I asked Tony to call him again, when the doctor showed up again, I started to bleed again. So he put a cotton pack in my nose and the bleeding stopped. Half hour later the doctors came back to take out the cotton, and check for bleeding points. They suspected two places, one in each nostril, so they put local anesthesia before they cauterize them. The procedure was painful in a scale of 7, but it didn’t work. 3 min later they were done, I started to bleed badly again. So bad that I felt I might faint at that point. They immediately moved to packing my nose, which has pain scale of 11. The first attempt didn’t work, I was still bleeding quite a lot, blood was going to the back of my throat and I was splitting blood and blood clots. So he had to take it out and put an even bigger one…. so painful!!! Fortunately after the second one was put in place, and injected with some liquid to make it expand to the max, the bleeding kind of stopped.

Due to the blood loss and recurrent bleeding, they wanted an ENT doctor to check me before sending me home. And the doctor was in surgery at that time, so we had to wait for 2 hours. By then it was close to 6pm, time to pick up Sofia at the daycare. First I asked Sarah to pick her up so Tony could stay with me, but Sofia refused to go with her, so Tony had to go. When my baby showed up, I was afraid that I’d scare her with my bloody face. Fortunately, she was fine, she’s a strong girl. She just looked concerned.

The doctor showed up around 7:30pm, checked on me, and suggested to reposition the packing to make sure it gets to the bleeding point. It was painful again, but I had no choice. Then we waited for another 30 min before we were more less sure that I was not bleeding anymore. We weren’t sure because although there was no bleeding, I was coughing mucus with blood, red blood. The doctor wasn’t sure either. He could repack it again and make it bleed again during the process, or send me home and go back in case I still bleed. We decided to go home.

The whole evening was PAINFUL. The packing caused me severe headache, not being able to breath at all, painful when trying to eat or drink anything. I couldn’t sleep but I was exhausted, so I just lied on the bed trying to rest. But I was scared, I was scared that I might bleed again, I was scared that I was continuously bleeding slowly as I still see blood in my mucus. IT WAS A BAD NIGHT.

The next morning, I decided that I needed to go back to the ER because if the packing wasn’t working, I didn’t want to spend 3 days in misery. If I had to pack it again, so be it, at least I needed to be sure that the bleeding stopped. My blood count was already in the borderline, I didn’t want to risk it.

So we took Sofia to class and went to the ER. I was admitted and checked by the doctor immediately, but the doctor suggested we wait for the ENT doctor since he wasn’t sure he wanted to move the packing. That was 10am, and the ENT doctor finally showed up close to 3pm. He is a great doctor, btw. Very patient, understanding and caring.

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He checked on me and decided to take out the packing. He’d first clean out all the mucus and clots inside my nose, which could prevent the healing and cause more bleeding, and I’d be able to breath again. If I still bleed, then he’ll pack me again.

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Taking out the packing was not as nearly painful as putting it, so I did fine. Then he cleaned my nose with suction to take out all the clots and mucus. He said i was not bleeding anymore, and he didn’t have to pack me again. I was so happy and surprised by this outcome!!! I was able to breath!!!!

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this is the packing, it’s like 20-25 cm long when fully expanded.

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I was discharged, ordered rest for at least few days, not carry anything heavy, no picking the nose and keep the environment moisture. I was feeling quite weak, due to the blood loss, not sleeping, not eating well. That night I slept for 12 hrs. It felt so good.

The next day I told my family and friends, they were all scared and worried about me and the baby. I told them I was fine, and that I will take care of myself. I had a business trip on Sunday that I cancelled. Nothing was more important than health and the baby at this point. Fortunately my boss was very understanding, sent me an email the following day, and his wife (Sofia’s friend’s mom, even offered to take care of Sofia over the weekend). Several colleagues also wrote me to ask me how I was. It was really nice.

In addition, I had Tony who was by my side ALL the time, giving me all I needed and more. During the whole process, I was scared but not too worried because I had him, I know I was safe.

He also did a great job taking care of Sofia. Usually I’d put Sofia to bed, but I was so weak for two days that he basically took care of Sofia all by himself. Sofia also understood that I was sick so she didn’t ask for me and did what we asked her. What a great daughter, so understanding and caring of her mama.

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Nobody knows why I have nose bleed during pregnancy. The only explanation they could think of is that blood amount increases 40-60% during pregnancy, and the vessels are more fragile. But nose bleed is not a common pregnancy symptom, so it’s still a mystery. I’m scheduled to see the OB this Thursday, hopefully everything is fine with the baby, and maybe even give me a clue of why this happens.