My post pregnancy workout- Livefit trainer: Phase 1, last Day

Boom! Yesterday, I completed PHASE 1 of Livefit, with an amazing leg session. To treat myself I bought a new pair of ONZIE leggings! (Shown in the picture above.) 

Phase 1 of the Livefit trainer is 4 weeks of exclusively lifting. Ladies DO NOT be afraid to lift, get yourself in the weight room and start gaining muscle and strength. The idea behind exclusively lifting for 4 weeks is with the main focus to gain as much muscle as possible. To gain muscle you need calories exclusively feeding your muscles, instead of being sucked up during cardio sessions. There is no room to share those valuable clean calories, especially if you have minimal muscle mass to begin with. 

To get back to the athletic level I was before pregnancy – I still have a ton of hard work to do, however I am most excited about the process, the journey.

Completing Phase 1 of the livefit trainer was a great accomplishment, mainly because it proved that even with a baby, as long as you make health and fitness a priority you can fit it in. It is important to me, as a mama to make some time, for myself. I also want to be a great example/role model for my daughter. Actions speak louder than words. By spending time on my health and fitness, I am showing her the importance of a healthy lifestyle. By being the best person I can be, this will make me a better mother and wife. 

As for progress and results. Every week I increased my weights. The first week I lifted easy and took things slow. Week two I started to find my groove. I added a little more weight, but really focused on form. Because of muscle memory, each exercise started coming back to me (just like riding a bike.) Week 3, I started feeling stronger and comfortable with my workouts. I added more weight and lower the reps from 12 to 10. Week 4, I was still doing (3×10) but really pushed it on the weights, adding more. I finally feel on some exercises I am lifting the way I use to. However, on some body weight exercises I am definitely not, push ups, bench dips are a struggle. It is obvious that my core is my weakest body part. 

I also customized the program a little, adding some new exercises. For example, I did some long walks with Zoe which also included walking lunges until failure. Always remember these trainers are great, but unlike a personal trainer, they do not customize toward the individual. So make some changes that will work best for you based on your goals and body. 

So on Friday, I will be starting Phase 2 and including some short runs into the mix. Because of pregnancy, it will be my first time running in almost a year. Crazy!

I fit in my Skinny Jeans!

  I have to admit this last week was a little bit exhausting. It was the first week that Zoe went to her babysitter’s house. And although, she is only going two days a week, it was a routine change for the both of us. 
My main priority is Zoe, so this week my work outs were put on the back burner. But with that being said, I’m definitely NOT worried. I’m just going to pick up my training right where I left off, with the mindset that it is going to take time to gain all my strength back. But I’m confident that with time I will get stronger, maybe even stronger than before.
Yesterday, I started week 4 of the livefit trainer when I should have been starting week 5. Anyway, I had a great leg session, however the gym was the busiest I have ever seen it. I need to figure out what time on the weekends the gym is slow, because it drives me crazy waiting and sharing equipment – I can’t stand the crowd- especially when I want to hurry home to spend time with Zoe.
Because I am set back a week in the livefit trainer, I am planning on doing a double on Monday. Today, I had an awesome back and bicep session. Monday will be chest and tricep, but I’ll work in shoulders and abs as well. Then I will end week 4 on Tuesday with a final leg session. And start phase 2. By doing a double I will be caught up. 
It takes time to transform a body. And although, I know I need to be patient I really want to complete the livefit trainer by the New Year. That means staying on track and really pushing it hard in the gym these last two months of 2015. 
I’ve had an amazing 2015- I did the coolest thing – I grew a human! The most beautiful girl baby, might I add. Using these last two months of 2015 to crush my fitness goals will just be the cherry to top off one of my best and favorite years.
As for progress, I definitely already see a difference and feel a difference too. I am lifting the weight amount I use to lift. I can’t wait to start phase 2 and take it up a notch! I am soooo ready.
Another way I have seen progress is in my clothes. I am wearing my skinny jeans today. This is the first time I am able to button them since being pregnant. It is crazy how much your hips spread to make room for a baby. I definitely have lost some inches. Having my favorite jeans fit is so exciting.  
So far I have not supplemented at all. In phase 2 I may start to supplement with protein powder and BCAAs. But as of now nothing. 
I’ve also joined the ATeam with Amber Dodzweit. She has a 7 week intense program that requires minimal equiptment. It is a program that can be done with out a gym, at home.
I need this so that way I have no excuse and on days that it will be impossible to make it to the gym I will still be able to get my workout in. Plus, sometimes I just want to be with my baby as much as I can, instead of leaving her and being at the gym for two hours. 
I also think it will be interesting to see if I can get results with minimal equiptment- I definitely like the challenge. 

Exclusively Lifting

It is day 20 of exclusively Lifting weights – yep that means NO cardio (with the exception of some long walks with Zoe).

I am following (once again) the Livefit trainer by Jamie Eason. Out of all the programs I have tried… Livefit is my favorite. Not only have I been successful on the program, (got me in the best shape of my life) but it just makes since. It is easy to follow and it is the way I personally like to lift in the gym. Of course I always customize the program to my needs, sometimes incorporating different exercises I prefer from other programs.

Anyway, the first phase (4 weeks) is all about gaining as much strength and muscle as you can. And because cardio can eat up your muscles or make it harder for you to gain, cardio is eliminated from the first phase.

And because of pregnancy, I haven’t trained like this in about a year, so it has been nice just to focus on one thing- weight lifting.

My experience so far…

Damn! Even though I have pretty much lost most of the baby weight. I am definitely starting from scratch. Appearance wise- My legs and booty have never been this skinny, my boobs have never been this big. So as you can see my body is the complete opposite of what it use to be. With that being said, it is amazing how with only three weeks of lifting, I am already starting to see some change – my glutes are starting to make a come back.

However, I am not focusing on what my body looks like but rather how it can perform. Muscle memory is an amazing thing. I get to the weight room and it is like riding a bike, right back at it. The first two weeks I took things slow, grabbing lighter weights and working on form. I see it all the time… people lifting heavy who have no business lifting that way because their form is so poor. I definitely do not want to be that girl trying to lift heavy with poor form – I might as well be on my road bike riding with out a helmet. So in the beginning I really focused on form, and now I feel ready and I am upping the weights.

Some of the exercises, I will do a warm up set with lighter weights, just to make sure my form is good and muscles are ready. It is then that I realize I need to up the weight. But there are some exercises mainly body weight exercise, such as push ups or bench dips that I struggle to finish the set. So weird that some exercises surprise me because I need to lift heavier, while others surprise me because they are a struggle when they use to be a piece of cake. I think this is because my core muscles need to be rebuilt. Because of this I am doing as many weight lifting exercises in plank so I am with out doubt engaging my core.

Anyway, I am not weighing myself until the end of the program. I am not worrying about numbers like that because they mean nothing to me. I am more concerned about hitting new PRs in the gym and getting stronger. Plus muscle weighs more than fat, so in this first phase I may not see a drop in weight at all, because I’m hoping for muscle gains. I will post progress pics though.

Diet is 80-90% of the reason why people see results.  This week I am really cleaning up my diet, by eating clean organic mostly plant based. I am also cutting back on sugar, and drinking more water. When trying to put on more muscle you need to eat. Muscle gains are supported by calories. So I will try to eat (clean) every 2-3 hours.
Below is a picture I posted on instagram,  on Day 17 of the Livefit trainer – NO cardio, exclusively lifting!Trying to gain as much muscle/strength back before I start running again. ***FITNESS TIP of the Day: try to do every weight lifting exercise you can in a plank. For example: Tricep Dumbbell Kickbacks or One Arm Dumbbell Row are more challenging when in a plank. That way you are definitely engaging your core. #fitmom #fitspo #girlswholift #liftheavy #livefit

Follow me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily

© 2015 sweat1xdaily



Marine Corps Marathon is tomorrow morning!

This is by far my favorite race.

Because I just recently became a mama, and just got cleared to run again two weeks ago, I am not running Marine Corps Marathon this year.  However, I will be cheering around mile 23/24 – the Crystal City area – so look for me if you need to see a familiar face.

I have realized that for a lot of you it will be your first time running this race, or even your very first time running a full marathon. So I have decided to share with you some tips that I found helpful each time I have run it.

Here are my top 26 tips for all of the Marathon Virgins out there running Marine Corps Marathon tomorrow…

  1. NIGHT BEFORE: Check social media for inspiration and updates, this includes facebook and instagram. Marine Corps Marathon pages always have a count down. And the night before race day facebook status always gets me pumped.
  2. NIGHT BEFORE: Always prepare your race outfit, and everything you will need for the race, the night before. (That means tonight if you are running MCM tomorrow morning.)
  3. Never wear anything you haven’t worn before.
  4. Make sure your ipod and garmin are charged and ready to go.
  5. Eat protein and carb race morning, good option – Bagel with Peanut Butter.
  6. GETTING TO and FROM: If you are riding the metro in the morning, you will be getting off at the Pentagon. But honestly if you get confused just follow all the other runners. If you plan to metro after the race make sure you get enough money on your metro card for both ways, getting there and coming back. Metro will be really busy on the way back. The Rosslyn Metro stop is the one closest to the finish line.
  7. THE START: At the start, strip down and check your bag. If you are one that gets cold easily then make sure you have throw away gloves and shirt. It will be cold in the morning but warm at the finish.
  8. Oh and don’t forget to BODY GLIDE everything. 
  9. CORRALS: Because Marine Corps Marathon is the people marathon they do not have any assigned corrals. Instead you choose where you want to be, by looking for the sign that says your finishing time on it. Try to get in the proper corral or the one a head of you. For example if you think you will finish in 4:30 then hang with the 4:15 group. This race is a very crowded race with 35,000 runners.
  10. WATER STATIONS: Have a game plan. Are you going to walk the water stations? When are you going to take your sports beans?
  11. ROCK CREEK PARK can get congested. But stay light on your feet and use momentum to fly down the down hill part.
  13. 13.1:  Once you hit the half way point start to break your race into pieces. At this point, you are in Hains Point, the most boring part of the race.  It is time to start counting. 2 more miles and you will be at mile 15 and out of the stupid park and on to the National Mall.
  14. MILE 15: Enjoy, look around you are running the National Mall.
  15. MILE 17: This mile is significant meaningful mile in a marathon because it takes us into single digits, only 9 more miles to go.
  16. SIGNS: Don’t forget to look at funny signs. The spectators are the best at this race.
  17. MILE 20: Beat the Bridge. The bridge is long and slow. A lot of runners HIT the Wall here. There aren’t very many spectators here. Sometimes it feels brutally hot with sun shining on you. Other times it feels really windy. This is the time when a lot of runners start walking and stretching out. This is when I tell myself to keep running, don’t walk. At the end of the bridge you are in Crystal City. Leaving DC and entering VA.
  18. MILE 21: This mile is significant for me because in training my longest run is 21. During my weekly training I do a 5 mile easy run. When I reach 21 in the marathon, I tell myself, “Only 5 miles to go, my 5 mile easy run.” Everything is mental at this point.
  19. CRYSTAL CITY: Once I’m at mile 23 looping around Crystal City I am looking at the spectators focusing on seeing people I may know. I also am saying my mantra.
  20.  Always have a Mantra. For example, when things get rough, I always repeat, “No matter what… Just keep moving forward. Keep moving forward.” Another good one is … “One More Mile.”
  21. HOME STRETH: At this point I am focused on the traffic signs, I try to get to one traffic sign then the next. You’ll see signs that say, “Memorial Bridge.”
  22. The last little bit is up a hill and then the finish line. But who cares there is a hill, you made it to the finish.
  23. Enjoy getting your medal and check out all the hott marines. You earned it.
  24. MILE 27: Walk, Walk, Walk. The most important mile is mile 27. The mile you walk after the marathon. This mile walk helps avoid cramping.
  25. Eat an awesome brunch to refuel and celebrate.
  26. Take it easy for the rest of the day. Consider taking hot yoga later in the week.

SO there it is!

Good luck to all of the Marathon Virgins out there running tomorrow for the first time. Good luck all runners. Look for me, I’ll be cheering for you.

Also if you want to read about my experience running Marine Corps Marathon, you can find the full Race Recap here. 


Mommy & Me (Baby) Classes (Yoga and Pilates)

I have been wanting to try Mommy & Me (Baby) classes at Mind the Mat Yoga Studio, since the week I found out I was pregnant. My friend Mariana went with her baby (Jasper) when she still lived in the area and she really enjoyed the classes. Along with her, I also know a couple of other mamas who have participated in the Mommy & Me classes at the studio and they too were really impressed.

The studio offers Mommy & Me classes in pilates, yoga, and barre. However, because I was recovering from my c-section I wasn’t able to do any type of exercising with the exception of walking, until I got cleared from my doctor. This was disappointing for me, because I really wanted to take Zoe to the Mommy & Me classes earlier, during my maternity leave – instead I finally just got to take her, this last week. We joined Piper and Lindsay at the Mommy & Me pilates class on Tuesday, and then went to the Mommy & Me yoga on yesterday (Friday).

Both classes are for babies before crawling age.


The pilates class focuses on lower body, mainly glutes. This class is definitely a workout for the mamas. I was squatting and sweating while Zoe stayed in her car seat napping. It is especially important for breast-feeding mamas to get a good booty workout in considering breast milk is made from the fat from your booty.

zoe at pilates


The yoga class is less intense then the pilates class. The first half of the class is for the mamas and focuses on the core muscles. The last half of the class is for the babies. This part was by far my favorite part, because nothing is better then having your baby smiling.

Zoe absolutely loved it. During the first half, while I was stretching, Zoe was watching me, smiling. Then during the second half, it was Zoe’s turn. I took her out of her car seat, and stretched her toes to her nose. I bicycled her legs, rotated her hips, stretched out her arms, and legs.

These classes are great!

While taking care of a baby, it is easy for a mama to forget to take care of herself. However, taking care of yourself is one of the most important things. It can be really hard to find time to work out especially when you don’t have family to help watch your little one. This is why I love these classes. There are very few workout classes that allow you to bring your baby with you, and most gym daycares don’t allow young babies.

I will admit that I have never been to a louder class. Some babies were screaming their heads off, but because we are all mamas in the classroom, screaming babies do not even phase us.

If you are a mama in the DC area who has a baby who isn’t crawling yet, I highly recommend trying these classes. And if you are a mama to be, try their prenatal yoga class – it is amazing!

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Post Pregnancy Training Plan and Goals

Last Tuesday, I got cleared by my doctor to start working out again. This means I am free to lift heavy and run far. I usually have no problem pushing myself and I actually enjoy it, however, because I had a c-section I want to take things slow. My worst nightmare would be to over do it and then have a major set back with an injury.

If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you probably already know, but one of my fitness idols is Jamie Eason. It was because of her, and her Livefit trainer, that I fell in love with weight lifting, and got in the best shape of my life.

She had a child two years ago, and she had a c-section as well. It took her three full months to feel good enough to even start working out again. This was really refreshing to hear coming from a fitness model/trainer. So many times you see people in the fitness industry jump right back into shape, but do they really, or are they just posting the good pictures.

Anyway, Jamie Eason has created a post pregnancy work out plan. It is available for free on Her post pregnancy trainer focuses on the core and back muscles. The daily work outs are circuits, which builds endurance. She also has a 15 minute training day, which is great for the days you may not be able to fit in a long work out. My favorite part about the trainer is that she creates a training day  that includes your baby using a carrier or a stroller – I love this idea.  Most exercises are ones that use body weight and can be done anywhere – So there is no excuse.

My Game Plan

My game plan is to spend the next month building back the muscle I lost, by completing the Livefit trainer again. I saw great results with the Livefit trainer, so I know it works. However, I also want to include some ideas and work outs from the post pregnancy trainer.

Because of hormones from breast-feeding, it may be difficult for me to build muscle. Plus, as long as my baby is taking in breast milk, I am not allowed to use any supplements. So for the next month, I am going to do minimum cardio, only long walks with my baby, and maybe a short run once or twice a week. My main focus is building muscle and strength back, and to much cardio can also deplete some muscle growth.

With my schedule, I should have no problem making it to the gym, however, I am also confident that I will be able to complete the work outs, outside of the gym.

I definitely want to do some yoga as well. And I’ll let you know when I am 100 % back to running again -trust me, I miss running most, and have already began to think of what races I will be doing in the future.

Mommy and Baby classes

I really love being with my baby, and enjoy her being by my side while I work out. I can’t wait to try some Mommy and Baby classes at Mind the Mat. I think it will be really fun for Zoe to be in a yoga studio with other babies. I’ll be going to my first class tomorrow.

So there you have it…

Last weeks work outs consisted of long walks on the trail with the baby, and some free weight exercises along with some walking lunges.12072767_10102786043199146_8981504843243271286_n Then on Saturday I hit the gym for the first time since having the baby. It felt so good being back. I’m really excited to share this next chapter of my fitness journey with you. I can’t wait to start seeing some serious results. 12074791_10102789844281746_6007220832008158331_n

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Babywearing – Wear all the babies!

Because it is International Babywearing week, now is the perfect time to share why I love babywearing,  The benefits of wearing your baby, and which wraps and ring slings I like best.

In the beginning…

I always knew I would love wearing my baby. 


When I first became pregnant I started my research on babywearing. The only wrap I had heard of was the moby wrap. One of my friends had it and absolutely loved it, but then I heard it had to much fabric and didn’t work well for petite moms. (I’m only 5’1.) It was then that I realized when it comes to wraps one size does not fit all, and it really depends on both mom, baby, and lifestyle.

I found the best way to discover new brands of wraps is through social media – blogs, facebook, instagram, and pinterest. But another awesome way is through other moms at baby showers. I would go to my friends’ baby showers and see what kind of wrap they received as gifts.

And so the research began. I became pretty addicted, searching hashtags on instagram, and following brands on facebook. I found out that along with soft organic cotton, there are also woven wraps, and ring slings. In the end, I became pretty obsessed with finding the most stunning, softest, material. I considered brands such as PavoTula Baby, Kindred, Maya, Sakurabloom, and Solly Baby.

Turns out after much research, I finally decided on the Solly baby wrap, and Sakurabloom ring sling.12115907_10102784977784246_7252069798700310828_n

I have yet to actually try the Sakurabloom because it just arrived in the mail today. However, ever since the birth of my daughter, I have been using the Solly baby wrap every day – and we love it.

Why we love Solly baby…


  • The fabric is extremely soft, made of awesome patterns and lovely colors.
  • This wrap is breathable during the heat of summer, but cozy during the cooler months as well.
  • It is easy to use. Your wrap will come with a user guide explaining the different ways to wrap your baby. But their website also has videos as well.
  • USA made.
  • Comfortable and cozy for both mom and baby. Zoe and I love cuddling all day long, no matter where we are.  And no matter what errands I need to do, Zoe is close to my heart.

There are so many benefits to babywearing.

  • Busy moms get things done, while bonding with baby. I am a really active person, so for me, babywearing allows me to do the things I need to do, with Zoe content and happy while I carry her. 
  • When mom wears her baby, baby is content and happy. Babywearing is one of the best ways to soothe a fussy baby. When I wear Zoe she normally falls right asleep. However, when she is awake she is listening to my conversations, hearing my heart beat, and close enough to kiss.
  • Babywearing is a bonding experience for both mom and baby. Zoe and I have been able to bond similar to when we do skin on skin, because she is that close to me, right next to my heart.
  • Babywearing makes it easy to breast-feed.
  • Babywearing helps promote healthy babies. Baby stays in tune with mom’s breathing, walking, and the body temperature of mom helps regulate the body temperature of baby. This is one of my favorite things about babywearing. I love Zoe keeping me warm.
  • Mom and baby become in tuned with each other, similar to when baby was in the womb. Mom becomes familiar with baby’s cues, movements, gestures, and facial expressions. Babywearing has helped me learn Zoe’s cues and facial expressions. 

Babywearing has been happening for centuries.  It may seem trendy here in the USA, but it is a part of many other cultures, especially through out Africa and South America. I love wearing my baby, and Zoe loves being worn. If you are a mama who hasn’t tried babywearing yet I highly recommend you do. The mental and emotional health benefits are endless, and it is the best thing in the world, having your baby cuddling close.

In this post, I am wearing the Solly baby wrap. What is your favorite babywearing wrap?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily


Six weeks with Zoe

The days go by so fast…

It seems like just yesterday we were leaving the hospital as a new family of three.

I remember the car ride home. Baby Zoe’s first time outside. I thought she would be peacefully sleeping, but nope, her eyes were open wide. At only three days old, she looked out the window, taking in the light from the sun – curious and alert.

zoe new born

It is hard to believe that today Zoe is six weeks old.

It has been quite the roller coaster ride, lots of ups and downs, but nothing less than fabulous.

Here’s what we have been up to for the last six weeks.

Week 1– Everyone trying their best to adjust.

We spent week 1 adjusting. We were quite lucky that Elissa was able to watch our dogs for us. That way, Erik and I didn’t have to worry about their reaction to our new baby girl. Instead we were able to spend the time focusing on our new born – cuddling and loving her. That week, Zoe didn’t sleep in her bassinet, but instead we all slept together on our couch in the living room.

Because my mom had the whole week off from work, she cooked us delicious meals every night. Mrs. W also stopped by with a homemade dinner, and Ali brought us cookies. We definitely didn’t stave, and never had to clean up a dirty kitchen.

Other things that happened this week…

Although, it was hot summer weather, we took our first walks together with the running stroller. While we are inside, Zoe loves her (4 moms) rockaroo chair.

Week 2Still adjusting.


Should I yawn, cry, eat, poop… Zoe didn’t know what to do with herself. At week two, she was still adjusting to this big beautiful world. In addition, we were still getting to know each other. I read tons of baby books and took all the classes. But everything I researched or decided on, the complete opposite happened. The books are great- knowledge never hurts, but when it comes to the care for my daughter, I have come to the conclusion that following my instinct is the best way.

I also have realized I do not know very many lullabies, so I have been singing Christmas carols. Zoe loves Silent Night, and Holy Night.

Other things that happened this week…

Zoe’s belly button healed, so she got promoted from sponge baths. Zoe also got to experience a bottle and pacifier for the first time. She had her newborn photo shoot, and got to meet her, Poppy, Gramps, Grams, and Aunt Jackie. 

Jackie came to visit.

Jackie was very helpful and great with the baby. Zoe melts into Jackie’s arm when she holds her. They spent most of the time cuddling, however, we did go out for lunch a couple times and was able to enjoy the last days of summer. Jackie also helped me learn how to use my Solly wrap. I love babywearing Zoe, and she loves being worn snug in her wrap close to her mama.


Week 3 Erik goes back to work, but Gran and Nana came to visit.

I was so happy Erik was able to take off three weeks to be home with Zoe and I. It was important for all of us to share this special time together and adjust as a family. He was also a huge help to me, considering I was recovering from a c-section. He was awesome, treating me like royalty, waiting on Zoe and I.

Once he went back to work and Jackie left, Gran and Nana arrived. They came with tons of gifts – including hand knitted sweaters, hats, and booties, and some vintage pieces that her Gran wore when she was a child. Again we walked with the stroller, and went to lunch in Pentagon Row and Old Town. Zoe loved meeting her Gran and Nana, it was a fun visit.

Other things that happened this week…

Zoe loves splashing in her bath tub. She also loves getting a baby massage and reading books, before bed. Her neck is getting stronger, and she can now hold her head up pretty well.

Week 4 Play dates, schedules, and routine.

This week Zoe turned one month old.


We spent time meeting other babies. (All at different times,) we met up with, Cordy, Piper, Jo Jo, Sheam, and DD. It is fun to have so many friends who have had baby girls this year.

Zoe is also more playful. We put her in her crib at Gam Gam’s house and we introduced her to her peek-a-boo bear. She loved it.

I have also realized that Zoe loves the water sound of the shower, and the hair dryer sound. It is either a form of white noise, or maybe she likes it because it is familiar to her, since I worked in the salon shampooing and blow drying clients up until 2 weeks before she was born. This is great news, because I have absolutely no problem getting ready in the morning.

This week I also worked hard trying to read Zoe’s cues. By learning when she is tired or hungry, I have been able to come up with an eating schedule and sleeping routine. I now know that Zoe likes a nap around 10 or 11 am. She has her fussy time in the early evening. And she likes to start getting ready for bed around 8:00 pm.


Other things that happened this week…

Zoe is now grasping objects with her hands. She loves her car seat, long walks, her Solly wrap. She also loves music, books, bath time, and baby massage.  

Week 5– Zoe hangs out with Aunt Emily.

Meets baby Jasper.

Great” Grandma and “Great” Grandpa came to visit. 

Emily took the week off, so we got plenty of days to hang out with her. Emily read Zoe books, we went shopping, and we went on walks.

Mariana came into town with baby Jasper. And although, Zoe was sleeping, it was fun seeing Jasper again. He grew so much since the last time I saw him.

Then “Great” Grandma and “Great” Grandpa arrived. Zoe loved cuddling in Great Grandpa’s lap while he rocked her. Great Grandma gave her tons of gifts including some Boise State attire. It was a very special visit.



Other things that happened this week…

Zoe starts to bat objects with her hands. She also is soothed by sounds of our voices and is instantly soothed when I babywear her. She has been sleeping well at night. and loves waking up in the morning by stretching out her legs and arms in her bassinet. 

Week 6– Tummy Time and Smiles

This has been a big week for us. Although, Zoe had some smiles here and there in week 5, this week she is very smiley. She smiles big with her whole face, especially when we talk to her, sing to her, or play with her.

She is also much more talkative. Baby talk and cooing is the cutest thing. She is hearing us and taking everything in like a sponge. It is really fun to sing to her, because she looks at me like I have the most beautiful voice in the world, which is funny because it is quite the opposite.

Up to this point, we have been doing tummy time by putting her on her tummy during baby massage, however, this week I knew it was time to introduce her to a tummy time mat. She got one as a gift at her baby shower, but because she bats things with her hands and loves to kick her legs, I thought it was important to find one that had objects hanging down. This way she can be stimulated on her back as well as her tummy.

After a long debate on which one to get at Buy Buy Baby, I went with the Super Sensory Play Mat. This mat had both black and white and bright colors. The fabric it is made out of has both patterns and textures. There are toys that hang down that rattle when she kicks or bats them. There is also a star that plays music and lights up, along with two mirrors that she looks into. Zoe absolutely loves it. Every time I put her on her mat, she moves her arms and kicks her legs with excitement.


Another toy I introduced to her this week, are her ankle animals. She loves these as well, because they rattle when she kicks her legs.

12108915_10102777640458306_2441717050109473123_nIt is fun as the weeks go on to see how much Zoe changes and what she discovers. I love seeing her evolve into the little person she is and has yet to become.


You are beautiful Zoe Annalise, and you complete our little family.

Love you to the moon and back. 


© 2015 sweat1xdaily


How to create a Birth Plan…



“We go into labor as one person, but emerge as another.” – Roni Jay

This post was written during the week before my due date, August 15th, 2015. In other words, Zoe was not born yet, and I had not experienced labor and delivery. 

Birth Plan – Is it helpful to have one or not?

I’ve known ladies who have written up their birth plans – which are pages long… I want this, but I do not want that. Then labor happens, and nothing goes as they planned it. All the time and dedication they spent on planning, goes out the window, and afterwards these ladies feel disappointed when things don’t go in the direction they thought or expected.

Because of this, I was hesitant to write out a birth plan. After all, pregnancy has taught me there are things you just can’t control.

Anyway, after a lot of thought, I finally decided to write a short birth plan. And although, my plan is written up and reviewed by my doctor, I know this is just a plan that could change anytime. I will be flexible and opened minded, with the end goal of keeping my baby and myself safe.

When writing up my plan, I thought of my own profession, hair styling.

As a hair stylist my worst nightmare is to have a new client sit in my chair who tells me, “Do whatever you want.” I normally laugh, because they are lying to me. Don’t tell me this when I know there are things you do not like. Because of this idea, I decided a short birth plan would be helpful. I don’t think the nurses at the hospital would want me to be in active labor screaming, “Do whatever you want?”

On another note… As a hairstylist, it is equally hard, to have the client, who maps out exactly what they want, when they do not have the hair texture, face shape, or skin coloring, for the look they are demanding. With that being said, a very demanding mama with a well detailed long birth plan, might be expecting the impossible.

By keeping these two ideas in my mind, while writing up my birth plan, I was able to avoid being to extreme, and stay balanced.

How to create a birth plan?

There are tons of example birth plans online. The two that I used as guidelines were written by The Bump, and Earth Mama Angel Baby.

Start your birth plan with general information. This includes…

  • Name:
  • Partner’s Name:
  • Due Date:
  • Doctor’s Name and phone number:
  • Hospital
  • Pediatrician:
  • Blood Type, including if you received Rhogam and the date received.

Then move on to what you want during labor…

  • What kind of birth is your delivery planned as?
  • Who do you want present before, after, and during labor? Don’t forget to include hospital or birth center staff, doctors, nurses, students, residents, interns, doula, midwife.
  • What do you want when it comes to food or drink during labor?
  • Do you want continuous fetal monitoring? Do you want a portable monitor so you can walk around?

If you need to be induced…

  • What natural methods would you like to try for induction?
  • Are you okay with medical staff breaking your water, if it hasn’t broken yet? This may speed up or jump start labor, but it also gives you a time limit. There is only so much time that a baby can stay inside once your water is broken.
  • Are you okay with receiving Pitocin? Pitocin can speed of labor, however it also can put baby under stress.

Pain relief methods…

  • What natural methods would you like to try for pain relief?
  • Are you okay with receiving an Epidural? Epidural will take away the pain, but it is also known to slow down labor.

During Delivery…

  • Do you want options to request birthing tools, such as birthing ball?
  • Are you okay with forceps usage?
  • Are you okay with vacuum extraction?
  • Do you want to be guided on pushing, or would you rather naturally push depending on how your body feels?
  • Do you want the option to touch your baby’s head as it crowns?
  • Do you want a mirror available to see the birth?
  • Would you like a episiotomy?

If you have to have a C-Section…

  • Who do you want to remain with you in an event of c-section?
  • Do you want the surgery explained to you?
  • Do you want hands free to touch the baby?
  • Do you want skin on skin and to breastfeed as soon as possible?

Cutting of the cord…

  • Do you prefer delayed cord clamping?
  • When do you want the cord cut?
  • Who do you want to cut the cord?
  • What do you want to do with the placenta?
  • Is it okay to give routine pitocin to help the placenta deliver faster and to prevent bleeding?

Immediately after Delivery…

  • How soon after birth do you want to hold your baby?
  • Do you want us to wait to clean the baby until after skin on skin and first feeding?
  • Do you want all newborn procedures delayed until after skin on skin and first feeding?

Family members and other visitors…

  • Who will get unlimited visiting? Husband? Partner?
  • Are you okay with other visitors coming to your room? Who does this include and when?

Lactation Consultant…

  • Is it okay to have a lactation consultant come to your room?

Baby’s Medical Procedures…

  • Are you okay with immunizing your baby according to normal procedures?
  • Do you know what PKU testing is? If not have it explained?

If your baby is not well…

  • Do you want to accompany your baby to the NICU or other facility?
  • Would you like to breastfeed or provide pumped breastmilk?
  • Would you like to hold your baby whenever is possible?

End your birth plan with…

What additional things you would like for your baby? And … What you do NOT want for your baby.

So there you have it… These were all of the main things I included in my Birth Plan. But again, this is just a plan, that gives the hospital staff an idea of which direction I prefer to go in. Things may change, and I will go with the flow.

What ended up happening…

Things changed and I just went with the flow…  Turns out that a lot of stuff that I included in this Birth plan – the exact opposite happened. But at the end, Erik, Zoe, and I are happy and healthy.

“Even though an “ideal” birth isn’t an outcome you can control, if you are prepared, you can come close.” – Alicia Silverston from The Kind Mama

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

C-Section: Pros and Cons


I always wanted to push a baby out….

But you don’t always get what you want.

Instead after 36 hours of labor, trying everything to deliver Zoe vaginally, an unplanned C-Section was our last and final option.

There are plenty of things that I don’t like about c-sections.

A c-section is a major surgery. I haven’t really had surgery before so heading into the operating room made me a little nervous.

Right before my c-section, I watched the You Tube video of Ellen interviewing actress Kristen Bell about her c-section. Kristen Bell talked about how she loved the drugs and that the modern hospitals sure know how to take care of you. Although, I agree with the last part, I hated the drugs. They numb you from the nipples down. And let me tell you, it is really weird not to be able to move. The numbness started to wear off, so I was able to hold my baby right after they stitched me up. However, I was unable to walk until the day after my delivery. They put moveable compression tights on my legs to keep circulation flowing. And then the next day, the nurse helped me out of bed to walk. I was a little unstable, but she thought I did great.

Another thing about all the drugs is the fluids they have to give you. I had some swelling during the end of my pregnancy. The swelling started at 35 weeks. Well after the c-section my whole lower body was swollen. My butt, hips, legs, feet… I looked like an elephant. Anyway, the swelling also made it hard to take those first steps. Even though I was super swollen, the swelling went down in a couple days. Everything now is back to normal. I never thought I would be so happy to see veins and bones in my feet.

This really annoys me… I watched two natural child birth documentaries that were pro home birth and natural birth. These documentaries were awesome, but definitely put c-sections in a negative light.  I never thought I would have a c-section so I never read up on it at all. So all I knew about them was what I read and watched on the documentaries. And because they put them in a negative light, my main goal, was to avoid them if possible.

When you are laboring naturally, you trust your body and are only focused on your baby. However, during my c-section I had to put full trust in my doctors and medical team. Although, I only wanted to focus on meeting my baby, because I was having a surgery I never researched or planned for, I not only became concerned about my baby, but also about myself.

If laboring naturally, I wanted to see what was going on. But during my c-section they put up a screen, so you can’t see anything. Because of this, the memory of hearing my baby cry is so vivid and unforgettable.

I wanted to have delayed cord clamping done and have my husband cut the cord once it stopped pulsing. However, because during a c-section they need to work fast to close you up, delayed cord clamping is out of the question. (They can do it for a short bit, but not too the full time.)

I also wanted to have my baby in my arms immediately with all of the fluids on her. But they took her to clean her off first thing. My husband was able to be by her side and watch everything, which was pretty special for him. Mean while my head was turned trying to get a glimpse of her. I was able to see a little. I also wanted to see my husband’s look on his face when he first laid eyes on our daughter. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see his face. He was holding my hand, but was by my side, behind me. Plus everything happened so fast.

Once in the recovery room, my baby latched on and we breast-fed for about 45 minutes. But at first my body was shaking. I kept asking why, they told me it was the hormones. It was annoying, because it was hard to really enjoy that moment when I had uncontrollable shakes. But I held her the best I could. We did skin on skin and it was amazing feeling her warm skin against mine.

Everyone says it is a lot harder to recover from a c-section. This is true. Because of the incision it was hard for me at first to find a comfortable position for both of us to breast-feed. I also am not allowed to lift anything except my baby. So I’m not allowed to lift the car seat or stroller. So I have had my mom, sisters, friends, husband help me.

I went in for my 2 week check up and everything looks good. My next check up is in 4 weeks and we will discuss whether I can start working out again. I am so ready. So far my recovery has been pretty good and smooth. I am no longer on pain meds.

Now for the positive things about a c-section.

During a c-section you can’t see anything, so your ears are very important. The absolute best thing ever was hearing my baby cry. That cry is and will always be unforgettable. I also loved hearing the medical team scream out her birth weight and length. I remember thinking, “Wow, my baby is a big baby!”

Now, although, my husband wasn’t able to cut the cord, he was able to run over to our daughters side and watch the nurse weigh her and clean her up. He also was the first to hold her, and bring her to me. This was very special for him.

Another very awesome thing about having a c-section, is that because it is a major surgery, you get to stay longer in the hospital. Some people may not consider this a positive thing, but for me it was. I’m a first time mom, who needed to stay at the hospital for the full amount of time so I could learn as much as I could from the nurses. The nurses were awesome and taught me a ton. I never felt rushed and even had time to talk with two different lactation consultants. When it was finally time to be discharged, I felt really comfortable heading home with my little one.

At first, I was pretty annoyed that I had to have a c-section, but now looking back it wasn’t that bad. And regardless of whether you have a vaginal birth or a c-section, both are experiences. I experienced a c-section and maybe with my next child I’ll try for a VBAC.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that Erik, Zoe and I are happy and healthy.

Baby Zoe is 4 weeks old today!

Thank you Erik, for making me a mama! Everyday I am even more in love.

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

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