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Our Perfect Breech Delivery Story

I couldn’t have imagined my pregnancy and delivery being SO different, 18 months apart. My pregnancy with Maddox was perfection from start to finish. My first delivery was fast and exactly to ‘plan.’ There was no guessing, no questioning, just calm simplicity. I LOVE that I am able to carry babies and being me… was persistent on a natural, vaginal delivery which was made possible by a perfectly cooperative boy.

As soon as I discovered I was pregnant the second time, I knew it was a girl. I had 17 weeks of all day nausea and vomiting followed by migraines, more nausea, anemia, headaches/migraines, restless legs, back pain, insomnia and overall wild discomfort. To follow my first pregnancy, I was persistent and planning on/hoping for a nice, calm, easy going vaginal delivery again. At 35 weeks, I found out Penelope was full breech and stubborn. I tried almost everything in the books to flip this girl with no change. We tried all the circuits and exercises. I practically lived upside down for the last month of my pregnancy. We tried lights, music, acupuncture and an unsuccessful ECV. I prayed to the gods, the universe and anyone listening for her to please flip and get ready. My last ditch effort was meditation. I ‘gave up’ and released my control. I asked P to show me what she needed and to help me create a plan in her best interest. This gave me the most peace I had had in weeks. I was now ready. I felt confident in her safety. I felt confident in my strength no matter the outcome.

My doctor knew the importance of a vaginal delivery, if safe for Penelope. He connected me with multiple OBGYNs in hopes of finding someone who can assist me in the delivery. The first doctor booked a cesarean for January 14th. We sat on this appointment for a week but as it got closer it felt more and more ‘wrong.’ It just wasn’t what I felt she wanted or I needed. I reached out to my GP and he booked me with another OBGYN. It took a couple tries but I found someone who’s birth plan aligned perfectly with mine, without prompting. He explained the risks and statistics associated with a breech delivery. Unfortunately these deliveries are rare today which means statistic sample sizes are limited. SO we also weighed pros and cons. In order for a breech delivery to be successful, there is specific criteria that needs to be met. Baby needs to be around 7-9lbs, full breech with a tucked head and lots of amniotic fluid. Mama (ideally) needs to be on her second vaginal delivery. Due to my first delivery, we knew this one would be quick and we assumed she wouldn’t delay in my pelvis. We monitored the last week and a half of my pregnancy closer and she checked all the boxes making us perfect candidates for the delivery. The OBGYN was in full support and confident in me waiting and delivering vaginally. This was SO important, his knowledge, education and confidence was all I needed to feel SO good about this option.

With everyone on board, we played hurry up and wait for my water to break. As we approached 40 weeks, I saw my OBGYN to discuss options if my water didn’t break. (Really we discussed when to book a cesarean). We also decided to do a sweep that day to encourage labour. This took about 10 minutes to work. Contractions began as soon as I walked out of the office and got in the truck. I went home and we waited. Due to her position, contractions were in my pelvis, not my abdomen like expected. I contracted through the night every 10 minutes or so and into Tuesday morning. I contracted through the morning and knew this was the day! Things began to progress around noon so I decided to shower and get ready to go. During my shower I contracted 5 times in 20 minutes. They were coming faster and stronger but still no water breaking. I did some last minute research and discovered they may have to break my water at the hospital. Due to her position, we assumed there wasn’t enough pressure low enough to break it on it’s own. We decided to call the doctor and go. By the time we left the house, contractions were 2-4 minutes apart and intensifying. We live an hour from the hospital so it was quite a drive to say the least haha

We made it to Northfield Rd in Nanaimo, around 10 minutes of lights and traffic to get to the hospital. At a very busy red light, I got the urge to push. If you’ve had babies, you know this means it’s time. I squeezed alllll my muscles the opposite direction to hug her in and fight the urge. I called the doctor to meet us right away as I knew this was it! We pulled some sketchy moves and got to the hospital in time.

I was quickly checked in and prepped by the support staff for delivery. I was fully dialated and ready to go upon arrival. This was around 330/4pm. We were long past the point of any medication and I am uninterested in an epidural so that was that. Contractions were steady with minimal or no break and all in my pelvis. My water still hadn’t broken so I began to push in hopes of bursting the sac. It worked! I managed to push P low enough to burst the sac. It didn’t take long for her to drop and (I haven’t looked at the photos yet) begin to drop her feet earth side. (Yes you read that right….there are photos of feet….just feet, dangling). We let her take her time and drop further into my pelvis before bearing down and pushing. I pushed for 15-20 minutes allowing her to slowly make her way. She did. She progressed beautifully on her own with a little encouraging. It was just that fast, we had our baby girl earth side and HEALTHY. She dropped both feet, I felt her shoulders ‘pop’ and her head followed effortlessly. Penelope had no complications and a perfectly round head 😉

Now having a breech delivery and ‘normal’ delivery, I have to admit this one felt better (LOL). Experiencing feet, hips, shoulders and lastly head made for a smoother transition and gave my body a better chance of adjusting and stretching. I never felt the same amount of pain as I did with Maddox. My contractions and urge to push came from my pelvis as apposed to my whole abdomin like my last delivery. The urge to push felt like a strong urge to pee. It was a very isolated feeling and required a conscious choice to use my whole core to push. Definitely different 🙂

I am recovered, feeling amazing and Penelope is perfection. I am in full gratitude to my doctors and hospital staff for supporting my beautiful breech delivery. With their support and shared vision, I avoided a cesarean and had a completely natural, vaginal, breech delivery. It took multiple consultations, half a dozen ultrasounds and a little stress and worry but we made it happen.

I hope this beautiful experience encourages you to SHARE IT because these deliveries are rare. I hope it encourages expecting mamas to explore their options. If a vaginal delivery is important to you, explore your options, there is so much possibility you may be missing.

No, not every breech story ends this way, I knew that but if your end result is the same whether you plan on a cesarean or plan to wait it out, why not wait it out? For me, it was important to try. My OBGYN was comfortable letting me go full term which allowed Penelope and my body the time it needed to begin labour instead of booking a cesarean without that chance. Having the right support staff made all the difference. They weren’t uncertain or worried or even skeptical. They were confident in my delivery and confident in a rushed c-section if she didn’t transition through my pelvis fast enough.

I learnt so much through my research and consultations. If you have questions or need support, please reach out to me. I know how stressful and wearing this decision can be 💖💖

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Packing Your Hospital Bag!

What’s in your hospital bag? This is one of the exciting parts of preparing for your new addition. It means it’s almost time!

I always see this question online and intended on blogging it for Maddox. My pregnancy came to an unexpected halt and I packed my back 30 minutes before driving to the hospital…oops! This time, I’m a little more on top of it.

It’s like packing for vacation, always hard to plan for the unknown. Ideally, we all want to plan for a few comfort items for the afternoon or an overnight in the hospital. Based on my last experience, this doesn’t always work and you need to be comfortable up to a few nights.

When I packed my bag this time, I asked myself a few different question.

What am I packing for? I am packing for a breech delivery that may end up in a c section, which could leave me in the hospital for a couple nights.

What do I need to deliver comfortably and what will keep me focused?

• Calm spray/lavender spray

• Enough Pillows

• Iced water

• Slippers if I need to walk around

• Tissues (I bring my own, hospital ones are so rough).

• Scrunchie

• Lip balm

• Cup with a lid and straw. I use my Starbucks cold tumbler 🙂

Other suggestions are a ball, music (I might try music this time) TENS machine, personal belongings/items, picture for meditation/breathing.

What do I need to get a good nights sleep?

• My own pillow

• Fuzzy blanket

• Eye mask

• Essential Oils

• Water bottle for cold water (I’m weirdly temperature specific)

What do I need post delivery?

• Shower items (soap, shampoo, sandles, cloth)

• Hair dryer, moisturizer, toothbrush, chapstick, perineal healing spray.

• Iced water, electrolytes, food!

• Clean clothes (dresses/rompers/high rise or maturnity tights work best for me)

• PJs with a button down front for easy nursing

• Socks, nursing bra, comfortable panties (I didn’t need more than a regular pad last time so regular panties worked perfect. I liked full bum, seamless). You will get the lovely hospital mesh ones. Use them! They’re great when needed 💗

• TOILET PAPER. Seriously, you don’t need to share with everyone but your yoohoo will thank you after a vaginal delivery.

• Nipple shield. There’s mixed thoughts on these but I found they saved me while we were learning. Last time, my milk didn’t come in right away but we still practiced latching and encouraged it to come.

What I discovered last time was getting clean/freshened up and being comfortable made a HUGE difference for me. I made sure to maintain as close to my regular routine as possible so that even when things are burning, throbbing, over all uncomfortable I felt good in my skin 🙂

Everyone is always different when it comes to lists like this. I think the most important part is to ask yourself a few questions to guide your packing and then to write down the items.

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Pregnancy weight gain

Ok ok ok, I am 3 weeks behind on posting this 🙈 it’s shameful I know and I have zero excuses for you. I found this topic really interesting as I went through my prenatal fitness course and wanted to talk a little about it. There is often a lot of misconception on pregnancy and how we treat the body. There are SO many common ‘myths’ about eating for two, craving/eating what ‘the baby wants’ and they’re all lies! 

The SOGC/CSEP (society of obstetricians and gynecologists/Canadian society for exercise physiology) use BMI categories to determine the approximate weight gain based on your current weight/height/gender. Now I’m not a huge fan of the BMI but I do appreciate the guidelines they offer in this case. 

If you are unfamiliar with the BMI it follows these 4 categories. I have added the pregnancy weight gain for comparison 😊

BMI <18 -weight gain: 15-25lbs

BMI 18.5-24.9 -weight gain: 25-35lbs

BMI 25-29.9 -weight gain: 15-25lbs

BMI >\=30 -weight gain: 11-20 lbs

Now these numbers aren’t exact science. Everybody’s body is different and let’s be honest, when you move through the different stages of pregnancy it can be hard to maintain a lean clean diet all the time. That being said it does offer an aspirational guideline if you move through this from the first trimester. If you’re nearing the end and have exceeded this recommendation, don’t worry about it now and definitely don’t try to undo 😊 Pregnancy needs fitness maintenance and healthy eating. 

To break it down further, 

The average newborn baby is 8lbs. 

Placenta: 2-3lb

Increased blood supply: 4lbs

Large uterus: 2-5lbs

Amniotic fluid: 2-3lb

Increased breast tissue: 2-3lb 

Stored fat: 5-9lbs 

This totals at around 25-30lbs of baby required weight at full term. 

If you’re like me and typically eat a lean and low calorie diet, watching calories can also be more important. In the first trimester baby is so tiny calories don’t matter. As you move into the second and third trimester, baby’s needs become a little higher and they may require more calories for healthy growth and function. It is recommended women increase their calories by 300 in the second trimester and around 500 in the third trimester. This is an easy extra snack or two. Keep in mind these need to be healthy calories to ensure your growing baby gets all the nutrients they need for proper development. 😊 

I am a firm believer that we are in control of our bodies and there are a lot of things we can do to improve our pregnancy experience. Some call it luck that I’ve made it 34 weeks with no cravings, sickness and only healthy weight gain, but it’s not luck. I stacked the cards in my deck to try and create the best outcome. I don’t cave to ‘cravings’, I worked out through the bit of sickness I had and I eat well! I treat my body as if I am as capable as I was before pregnancy. I think a strong mind contributes to a strong body and I don’t let people do things for me (within reason). I am not a delicate flower, I am strong and capable and I treat myself that way 💕 always know your strength! You will need it soon 😊

Following these guidelines not only ensure personal health, but encourage the development of a happy, healthy baby. 😊 if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out and ask! 

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Managing Sciatic Pain and RLS

Good morning!! 

As I’ve shared I have been struggling with restless leg syndrome and self diagnosed myself with sciatica (I haven’t had a chance to visit my doctor yet about it). If you have never experienced RLS, in my case the pain and numbness originates around my sacrum and radiates down one or both of my legs (usually my right leg). This numb tingly pain gives me the unbearable urge to move my leg. It is more annoying than anything but definitely makes relaxing almost impossible. The sciatic pain I can handle, the RLS needs a solution, this mama is getting TIRED! hah.

I have done a lot of research on what causes RLS and how to treat it, but have hardly found answers. These are the treatments I have tried so far.

1. Lavender-epsom salt bath: this treatment is hit or miss. Sometimes it gives me a little relief, sometimes I get restless legs in the tub and have to get out. I have read that magnesium and lavender  (independently or together) can be used to treat RLS, unfortunately I haven’t had much success with these in a spray or a soak, together or on their own.

2. Eating magnesium rich foods. I have tried avacado, leafy greens, almonds, PB, soy milk…nothing works. 

3. Consume more iron. Didn’t make a difference.

4. Tylenol. I have tried taking this and find it works, most times. I really hate taking pills like this and try to avoid at all cost. 

5. Ice. Feels great in the short term by freezing the area, however as soon as the ice is gone I am aware of my symptoms again.

6. Heat pad. This works a little better for me, my conclusion is that it helps release or loosen up tight muscles I have in my hips which causes the restlessness. 

7. Moving around. Seems legit right. I have tried this and found occassionally I might get a little relief as I move but the symptoms reappear as soon as I sit or lay down. 

8. Foam roller. This has worked the best so far. When I roll out my lower back, I often sit on my sacrum and feel pressure on the muscles. This will often cause my leg to feel restless while I roll, but relieves the symptoms for a short time after 👌

So far those are the most common treatments I have discovered. If you have dealt with it and have any other suggestions I would LOVE to try them out!! 

**Keep in mind, the things that haven’t worked for me may work for you so don’t write them off without trying 😊

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5 Tips to Caffeine Free Energy During Pregnancy

I’m currently at 26 weeks pregnant, spring has sprung and work is in full force. My to do list seems endless and I’ve been seeking out caffeine free means of boosting my energy to get me through 13 hour days on a crappy nights sleep. On a regular day I’d enjoy an extra coffee or a red bull on ice but that won’t do these days!

1. Start the day moving. I am generally a sucker for enjoying a cup of coffee with the news, a book or some Netflix. This has now changed for me. If I start the day sitting, I end up feeling tired throughout the day. A better use of my morning is my first breakfast and a walk or some tidying up at home.

2. Exercise! I’ve found a good balance between too much and too little when it comes to exercise. A nice walk in the morning does WONDERS to wake me up. I love lifting weights and a 30 minute session is usually the right amount for me on a busy day.

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3. Eat before you get hungry. This is a rule for everyone pregnant or not, but holds true when trying to keep your energy going. By feeding your body throughout the day, it is getting all the sustenance it needs for you and baby 👶 Eating smaller snacks and meals throughout the day is also easier for your body to digest so it is spending less energy at once compared to eating a big or heavy meal. That being said, eating healthy is also important.

4. Make sure your vitamin/mineral levels are ok and supplement as needed. I take a prenatal, folate, fish oil and BCAAs to help keep me and baby happy and healthy. I really think the BCAAs help boost my energy a little while assisting in my muscle recovery. Just make sure you check with your health care provider before adding new supplements.

5. Rest. I am not a napper, but on long days I find resting in the afternoon helpful. My sleeps are pretty inconsistent right now but I still can’t sleep during the day. Taking an hour to unwind and lay down on the couch or in bed does wonders. Remember you’re nurturing a human, that’s hard work 💜

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Staying Fit While Pregnant

Pregnancy is an amazing experience. Your body goes through so many changes as you grow another human. That’s amazing guys. No matter where you look everyone has a different opinion on all things pregnancy and baby, including fitness.

I trained before I was pregnant, so why not during? Staying active has helped energize me, oxygenate my blood, and keep my weight gain within the guidelines which is around 30 lbs. A lot of women eat for two during pregnancy and shy away from exercise which won’t help the body bounce back postpartum.

It is important to maintain good fitness and diet now more than ever. Even if exercise is newer to you, don’t be afraid to find out how you can improve your fitness.

*please note, if you are starting a new exercise program that you check with your physician first.

Weight Training

img_2615If you were weight training before pregnancy, chances are it is safe for you to continue during pregnancy. In most cases, there are numerous benefits to weight training during pregnancy. Strengthening the core muscles will definitely help carry your extra baby weight, reducing the stress on the back. A strong core can also help during labour and postpartum. During any exercise remember to listen to your body, you’re training for maintenance now, not improvements. For the fit pregnancy, it is recommended you weight train 2-3 days a week, with a reduced intensity of 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

*note, if you are new to weight training (3 months or less) please reduce intensity further to 2 days a week and 1-2 sessions/week. Please also seek the advice of your physician.

Cardiovascular Training

This one I have been struggling with a little as my cardio is usually done outside, but there are lots of benefits to cardio during pregnancy also! For the fit pregnancy, it is recommended you engage in up to 30 minute sessions, 3-4 days a week. I like to stagger my walks/stairs/hikes with my weight training as my goal is to be active every day. Staggering these sessions gives the muscles a nice break too 🙂 Remember, if you experience any discomfort, stop what you are doing and seek the advice of a physician. If you are new to exercise, reduce the intensity to 15 minute sessions, fewer times each week. Please reach out to me for more information on progressions.

Flexibility Training

If you’ve trained with me, you know how important I believe stretching is for everyone. During pregnancy stretching helps reduce muscle soreness after exercise and also helps reduce any muscular discomfort from pregnancy. img_2611

During exercise, it is important to care for your body, and LISTEN to your body. If something doesn’t feel good or right, don’t do it. If you’re unsure of modifications, ask first. It is also important to stay within intensity ranges, this includes target heart rate zones (Ill get more into this another day). If you’re unsure, please ask 🙂 on average (fit 20-29 year old woman), the maximum heart rate is 160 bpm. This number decreases due to age and fitness level so be aware and honest of your abilities.

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Do Yourself a Favour: Don’t be Afraid of Exercise During Pregnancy

We all know there are oodles of benefits to frequent exercise in the average person but did you think of the extra benefits associated with exercise during pregnancy? Growing a baby is no easy job and how we treat our body can make a huge difference in the way we feel and the way our bodies handle pregnancy, labour and post partum recovery.

img_2611Through exercising and stretching we can decrease the risk of things like; cardiovascular and muscular loss, hypertension, varicose veins, gestational diabetes and so much more. We can also improve our cognitive state pertaining to the changes our bodies are going through. It is important to enjoy cardiovascular training, muscular conditioning and flexibility training during uncomplicated pregnancies. I exercised through my entire first trimester and really felt good about it. I have made my health more of a priority than ever for myself and baby. Even during the bit of motion sickness I had, I worked out. To be honest…I usually felt better during my workout than before so I enjoyed the little break from the nausea (I know it seems counterintuitive 😉)

I want you guys to know it is OKAY for you to continue exercising and even to begin exercising during pregnancy! Always check with your health practitioner before begining exercise. There are numerous benefits to exercising during an uncomplicated pregnancy such as a stronger core to assist during labour and decreased risk of Diastasis Recti & post partum depression. As our bodies begin to change it becomes more important to understand what frequency, intensity, time and type is ok for you and baby during exercise so I do encourage contacting a prenatal coach as you begin exercising and advancing in pregnancy. It is also safe for you to exercise at any stage of pregnancy as long as you feel good and you have no contraindications.

img_2604I want future mamas to feel good and confident and not to be afraid of exercising during pregnancy. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach the out to me. I know how daunting it can be browsing the internet reading the endless no no lists.

 

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Snow Day Home Workout

Hey everyone!

If you’re trapped inside during snowmageddon 2017, this workout is the perfect way to get moving inside. You don’t need any equipment, just a little bit of room 🙂

You can do each exercise in a timed circuit, or perform each one for 3 sets, 12-15 reps 🙂

please rememeber to warm up the body before beginnning this workout and check with your healthcare provider before begining new exeecises. Hillside Fitness is released of any liability.

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Mum Trainer

hey everyone!

As you all know by now, I’m halfway through my baby growing adventure and my heart couldn’t be more full. I have had a WONDERFUL pregnancy so far with minimal symptoms and lots of activity.

My husband works out of town and we’ve been playing the ‘trying, not trying’ game for a while. As you can imagine, the timing is a little tricky when you’re apart half the year, but, this past fall all the stars aligned and we made a baby!

img_2603We waited the three months to tell our friends and family and I’m so excited to share this experience 🙂

A bit about me. I am a personal trainer and have always put great importance on my health and wellness. What you put into your body you get out of your body. Treat it like shit, it’s going to return the favour.  Our healthy lifestyle makes a healthy pregnancy an easy transition. I’ve managed with minimal morning sickness and no cravings beyond oranges 🍊. Although this transition has been relatively easy for me, I understand the amazing changes my body is going through and am excited to share this with you!

There are minimal resources for pregnant women and new moms in my community and I’m so excited to share what I learn with you! As a part of my continuing education and personal growth, I am SO SO excited to take pre and post natal classes. I am passionate about women’s health and fitness and this is such an important aspect.

Feel free to reach out to me and ask any questions you may have! I’ll be sharing what I learn in my courses as we go. I also hope to share pregnancy safe workouts as well as post natal workouts to help that bod bounce back.