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My Health and Wellness Journey: Part Three

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Hi friends!!!
Happy Wednesday!!!

Well...here we are..Part Three of my Health and Wellness Journey!! Thank you SO much if you have read my other two posts. You can find Part One: HERE and Part Two: HERE!

Okay...so where I left off last time was leading up to Marshall's birth. My pregnancy with Marshall was a good one. I have always had HORRIBLE varicose veins issues during my pregnancies, but have always managed them by wearing medical grade compression hose. While I wore my compression hose with Marshall, my veins were still VERY bad. It was a combination of it being my 5th pregnancy in 7 years and that my veins were just DONE. Overall, though, I had a healthy pregnancy and was working out up until 39 weeks! I gained an average amount of weigh...I can't remember the exact amount but it was between 30-35 pounds. 
I ended up being induced with Marshall just after I hit 40 weeks. My doctor just wanted to get things going, considering my age and this being my 5th baby. I had an appointment the morning of my induction and everything looked GREAT! He was head down and my body was definitely ready to have a baby ;) 
I got checked into the hospital later that afternoon and had a super typical labor. Aaron and I were having the best time together in the hospital and were just SO excited to have a baby!!
Well...right when it was time for me to push...my doctor checked me and she started to say a couple swear words :) Instead of feeling a head, she felt a baby BOOTY. Marshall had FLIPPED sometime after my appointment. My water had broken at that point and it was pretty emergent for me to get a C-section to avoid any infection.
At this point I started FREAKING OUT. Like I went pretty nuts. I did NOT want a c-section. I had 4 babies at home to take care of and Aaron had to go right back to work. I was pretty sure this was my last pregnancy and I just didn't want it to end this way. 
It didn't matter though...we had to get the baby out.
On our way to the operating room, if you can believe it, he flipped AGAIN and became transverse. My delivery ended up being one of the most difficult deliveries my doctor had done in her 25+ year career and it was quite scary. I lost over 2 liters of blood and it was just NOT good.
Some much needed comic relief happened right after Marshall was born- he was weighed and the whole operating room went into an uproar when we saw he weighed ELEVEN POUNDS (and 2 ounces :) and he was 23.5 inches. He was absolutely HUGE!
The next 24 hours are pretty blurry for me as I was VERY out of it due to the amount of blood I had lost. It was just a VERY hard delivery, mentally and physically. Despite being pretty traumatized about the whole thing, I just couldn't get over God's faithfulness and his providence over Marshall and I. I just felt SO thankful.
Okay...sorry for the novel about Marshall's birth story..but it's important to know...because it played a huge part in my struggle over the next 6 months after I had him. I worked hard to lose my pregnancy weight...but things were just NOT the same as before. I still looked VERY pregnant despite being back at my pre-pregnancy weight. I was in A LOT of pain, especially after I worked out. After doing a lot of research, I realized I might have diastasis recti. I went to see a physical therapist who confirmed that I did and I began going to PT to work on healing the opening in my abdomen. The PT could not confirm that Marshall's intense c-section caused the large separation in my abdominal muscles...but it definitely didn't help. Either did the fact that he weighed 11 pounds. HA!
After doing PT for almost 2 months and getting NO WHERE, Aaron and I decided to seek an opinion on whether or not a surgery to repair my torn abdominal muscles would be the best option for me.
At this point, I will be honest- I was feeling pretty down. It was such a weird time for me. I was SO SO happy to be a mommy to my 5 children...I literally could burst. Aaron was my rock and amazing through everything. But- I was hurting physically and feeling so UNLIKE myself. It was a hard time. 
We met with an amazing surgeon and he told us that I was a great candidate for surgery. We booked the surgery that day and were just SO ready for me to get it DONE and move on so I could start healing!!
For those of you who have been reading my blog for several years, you might remember that I shared about having a procedure in November 2016. That was my abdominal repair surgery. I didn't want to share much about it at the time because I just didn't :)
But that's when I had it. 
So I had my surgery and the recovery was pretty intense. After my surgery was over, the doctor told Aaron my abdomnial wall had a 6 + inch tear and he could understand why the last several months had been so difficult!
I did not take any painkillers AT ALL because I needed to get back to nursing Marshall. The first few days post surgery were the worst- but through a strength only God can provide, I made it and started feeling better and each day.
Fast forward to December 2016, when I underwent 4 more separate procedures, 3 of them being pretty involved surgeries to help all the issues I had with my varicose veins. In the course of 6 weeks, I went under anesthesia 5 different times. It was A LOT- but it was so important for me to essentially "fix" my body so I could move forward and just feel good and be able to take of my family and myself!
I made it through all my surgeries, ALL thanks to God, and in January, I decided to re-join Weight Watchers as a "meeting" member so I could achieve Lifetime status.

I was feeling stronger and stronger and knew I was ready to commit to this BIG goal!!
I worked REALLY hard, experienced a few bumps along the way and hit my lifetime goal in April 2017.
And here I am...1 1/2 years later and I have maintained my Lifetime WW goal (and actually have lost several pounds below my goal weight and maintained that)!
I hesitate sharing my weight...but I do think it can be helpful to have a reference point of where I used to be and where I am now. 
At my heaviest- I weighed right around 195 pounds. 
I currently weigh 140 pounds. (and if you're curious I am 5' 8"). 
So over the course of 10 years, 5 kids and SEVERAL surgeries, 
I have lost 55 pounds and kept it off.
Here's what keeps me motivated: 

- God. He is my reference point in all that I do and I truly feel a way that I can glorify Him is through respecting my body and treating it well.
- my health. going through what I did after I had Marshall and then going through my recoveries after my surgeries has completely changed my perspective on just how THANKFUL I am to be healthy and have a strong body. I was working out yesterday and while my legs were burning during my workout- I could only smile and just feel SO grateful for my strong body. 
- my family. they deserve my BEST. I am NOT at my best when I am overweight and out of shape. I want to be around a long time and while I am guaranteed nothing, I sure want to do everything I can to ensure I can be the best version of myself for the people I love the most.
- it feels good to FEEL GOOD. I am the best version of myself when I am taking care of myself. simple as that.
What I still struggle with, even after maintaining a healthy weight for over a year and a half:

- emotional eating. This is SO hard for me. I have certain "triggers" and it never fails...I can be having the best day and then something happens and I make one unhealthy choice that leads into MANY unhealthy choices.
- I still have self control issues with food. I am not the type of person that can have "just one" cookie and feel satisfied. If I have one cookie it makes me want to have another. And then I just think to myself, "Well, you've already screwed up your day...might as well eat all of them!" Yeah. SO NOT HEALTHY. I am working VERY hard on this right now. I do NOT want food to have any control over me...so this is definitely a work in CONSTANT progress for me.
- getting out of my workout groove. Life gets busy and I have to be very careful not to skip my workouts too many days in a row...because than I just start making excuses why I can't exercise. It is a daily EFFORT for me to CHOOSE to exercise. 

And there you have it. That is my story. I feel like I shared A LOT. But truth be told...I could talk about this topic more. But I promise I won't. HA!

Thank you for listening to my ramblings. I have appreciated SO much the kind words of support and encouragement. 
And my biggest hope is that maybe one of you who reads this feels less alone in your own journey of health and wellness.
PLEASE reach out to me if you want to talk, have any questions about ANYTHING or just want to vent/share about where you are at!
Linking up with one of my favorite bloggers, Whitney, today!





6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this today!!

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  2. Wow, I can't believe you went through all of those surgeries. And that delivery! When you said "procedure" on the blog, I was thinking something minor. I had 2 c-sections, and after that I had a whole new respect for abdominal surgery. Recovery can be really tough! Your story is so inspirational. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. WOW! You are amazing!!! I knew Marshall's delivery had lots of unexpected elements, but I did not realize how hard and scary things were!! I have never heard of a baby moving positions like that at the last minute. SO thankful God took care of you through that and all of your follow up surgeries. Good for you for being an advocate for yourself and your body. It's so hard to make time for that or to pay attention to your symptoms as a mom. I appreciate that reminder. If I don't take care of my body no one else will :) You're so inspiring!! Super proud of you. Thanks for sharing your healthy journey with us.

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  4. Thank you for sharing. I believe there are a lot of us out there who really struggle & we are our own worst enemies in how we see ourselves. To not give up- keep going & be grateful for a healthy/ strong body is wonderful advice.

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  5. Thank you do much for sharing! I love your blog, I never comment, but I HAD to, because I an the EXACT same with food!!! It is such a struggle!

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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