Introducing….

Matt and I are so thrilled and proud to introduce you all to our sweet “Babe”: Austin Walter Sidders, born Monday October 9th 2017 at 9:41pm, weighing 8 pounds 2 ounces!

We are so in love with our little baby sparrow (my newest nickname for him because of how his little mouth gapes open when you go to drop milk or vitamin D drops in with a tiny syringe….oh my heart….<3 ) and I can’t believe the seismic shift in my priorities that’s taken place since he’s been born. Everything that I used to think was so important just fades into the shadows and as long as Austin is happy, I’m happy too.

We have been home since Wednesday of last week now, and are fumbling our way through each day one day at a time! This parenting thing is NOT easy (go figure – everyone that told me that the first stretch was difficult was right!), but Matt and I make a great united team, and we will get there together, one day, one feeding at a time. I’ll try to post weekly updates on how we’re doing – more so for my own posterity, but I’m more than happy to share our experiences with the online community as well!

Austin’s birth was a complete and total roller coaster of emotions with some of the ultimate highest and lowest emotions of my life. I am still trying to process a lot of the emotions from that day (or really, those days as it turned out) to be honest, and sometimes they still overwhelm me a full week later. I am working on documenting his birth story and will share it here once it’s ready (I know that I loved to read other women’s birth stories as we geared up for our own labour / delivery, so thought that it would only be right to pay it forward!).

Thank you all so very much for following our pregnancy journey and for all of your lovely comments / well wishes along the way. The past 9+ months has been so challenging, rewarding, confusing and filled with emotional highs and lows, and it is still so surreal to me that that phase has come to an end. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have our sweet Austin here on the outside, and can’t wait for the journey to continue!

All our love,

Sara, Matt & Austin

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38 Weeks

A Letter to our Baby Boy…. 

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Dear Babe, 

As I’m writing this letter to you, I am 39 weeks + 2 days pregnant….it could be any day now that we get to meet you, and your Daddy and I are getting so excited!

I know that people around us are getting anxious to meet you (your mama has never been so popular / gotten so many calls and messages!), but I’m feeling like you aren’t quite ready to make your way into the world just yet. I think that it will be at least another full week before we get to see your sweet face. That’s okay with me – you take your time, there’s absolutely no rush. 

We’ve been busy getting ready for your arrival this week now that I’m off work. Yesterday night we setup your baby monitor and your mobile in your crib. I’m loving how your room has come together, and I hope that it is perfect for you to get lots of sleep. I also found the most perfect storage containers that hang over the back of your closet door, and that made my whole day! 

I had another ultrasound to check on you earlier this week, and they estimated your weight at 6 pounds 10 ounces. I’d love for you to gain a bit more weight before you are born my love, your mama worries about you! I’m trying to eat lots of good, healthy foods for you this week, and hopefully we can get a few more ounces on you before the big day! 

You have the best Daddy in the entire world waiting for you out here baby boy. Watching your Dad take this pregnancy so seriously, and be so in tune with you every day has just made my heart swell. He reads to you every single night in my belly, has been to all of your prenatal appointments with me, and makes sure to talk to you in there every single day. I worry sometimes that I won’t be a good enough mama for you, but I’ve never once worried about your Daddy. He will be perfect. Also, I’m sure that he will be a hero with you because he’ll be the one to feed you Kraft Dinner and hot dogs when I’m not around! 

As excited as I am to meet you in person, I know I will dearly miss our days together with you on the inside. You are getting so strong in there, and always make me laugh with your crazy hard pushing on the inside of my belly. Sometimes it feels like you are going to push right through my skin! I love feeling like I always have a partner in crime with me, even when I’m “alone”. Thank you for making this pregnancy so easy on me! 

I am nervous about our labour and delivery now (I haven’t been overly nervous until this point, but am getting there now for sure!). Your mom is a bit of a control freak, and not being in control of that whole situation is starting to freak me out! The only thing that really brings me peace is to think that you and I will be in it together, no matter what happens. I know that the whole thing will be a bit of an ordeal for you too – so I’ll wish you luck, just like everyone is wishing me luck out here! Hang in there and be tough – your Daddy and I are waiting for you on the other side, and it will all be worth it, I promise. Your Daddy says that he will have a deli sandwich waiting for me once you are here (I haven’t been able to eat those for the past 9.5 months because there could be bacteria that isn’t good for you!). Your mama likes deli sandwiches! 

I won’t lie to you baby boy, it’s a tough world that you are coming into out here. Sometimes I lay awake thinking about what the world will look like as you grow up. My hope for you is that you and your generation will be the breath of fresh air that our world needs. That you will look for (and find) the good in every single person, regardless of circumstance or appearance. That you will work hard for every thing you have in life. That you will love and laugh freely and openly, and experience that same love and laughter back in return 100-fold. That you will take chances and make mistakes, but always hold yourself accountable for the decisions that you make, and work hard to make things right when you make the wrong ones. I know it’s a lot to put on your unborn shoulders my love, but the world is counting on you! 

I’m sad to say goodbye to this chapter in our lives together sweet baby, but know that we are starting off on the greatest adventure of our lives. If you had asked me 10 months ago what my purpose on this earth was, I would have said “to teach fitness classes and make people healthier”. That may still be true to some degree, but with absolute clarity I can say now that my real purpose on this earth is to be your mama (and hopefully – mama to your future brothers / sisters some day as well). I can’t promise that I will get everything right (in fact, I can promise you that I won’t get everything right), but I can promise you that I will do my very best for you every single day – and that nobody will ever love you as much as I do. Everything else – we can figure out together. 

Hang tough in there my boy – we are so close to the end, and hey, if you feel like a quick 1 hour labour will do the trick, I won’t complain! Looking so forward to meeting you!

All my love, 

Your Mama xoxo

37 Weeks

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I realized when starting this post that this MAY be the second last weekly pregnancy post that I write!

You may or may not have caught on from the tense that I use, but I write my weekly posts once the week has finished (i.e. I’m writing this 37 week post on Thursday the 21st, which is actually day 2 of week 38), so each post is more of a “week in review” looking back at the previous week! That means that at this time next week, I’ll be writing my week 38 in review….and by the time the next one comes around….I’ll be past 40 weeks! EEKS!

My midwives (and everyone else I talk to for that matter!) seem to be totally convinced that Babe will arrive late, so I’m kind of counting on a 41 week pregnancy unfortunately…..I’m so impatient and anxious to meet little Babe, I can’t wait anymore! That being said, I do have a lot of appointments and there are still a lot of things that I’d like to get done before the big day, so I guess I’m kind of torn between being so impatient, and being in a panic to finish things up!

We’re ticking away through the to-do list over here though, and milestones are just falling off the page! My last (half) day of work is tomorrow (OMG), and I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that I’ll be off work for a year….it doesn’t seem real AT all!

We had our first prenatal class last Saturday (made it just under the wire – phew! Matt and I were the closest couple to our due date in the whole class of 15 couples LOL) and it was pretty good. To be honest, I’d already came across 95% of the information in all of the reading / research that I’ve done on my own, but the instructor was really lovely and it was good reinforcement to hear it all again from a live person. Plus, it was good to have Matt there to hear everything with me so that he feels somewhat prepared as well!

I wasn’t a huge fan of the approach that was presented to labour / delivery (in particular the approach to drugs / interventions). I just found the stance to be a little bit strong for me and my learning style, and although I do agree with some of the points that were made, at the end of the day, I really don’t feel that it matters so much how our sweet babies come into the world, as long as they are healthy and happy, and as long as mama is too.

At the end of the day, I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned from all of my (many) hours of research on the topic is that everyone’s body and everyone’s experience is so different! If mom and baby are dealing well with the whole thing and can make it through stone sober by rolling around on an exercise ball, then that’s super awesome – good for them! If a different mom and baby are getting totally rocked, are miserable and opt for some relief in the form of drugs, then that’s super awesome too – and good for them as well!

I’m trying extremely hard to go into this whole thing with a really, really open mind. I haven’t written off literally any options, and I’m trying to learn as much as I can about all of the different schools of thought. I think at the end of the day, no matter what everyone has to say, this is going to come down to Babe and I, and we’ll figure it out together, just like we have everything else the last 9+ months. Something about that thought brings me a lot of comfort and really puts my mind at ease 🙂

Aside from prenatal class, it’s been a pretty chill week! I had a last minute opportunity to pop downtown for a Leafs preseason game with my family on Tuesday night (while coincidentally, Matt was downtown at the Jays game with his friend from Red Lake at the same time!), so that was pretty cool! I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to get tickets to the home-opener game on October 7th, but am thinking that’s probably a little ballsy considering that would be three days past our due date, and Leaf tickets ain’t cheap 😉

I’ve been back in the studio a little bit more this week participating in classes (BodyPump mostly, but I did do a Newbody class last Friday as well!), and am sooooooo, so, so, so uber thankful that I’m still able to work out at this late stage in the game! The activity and the endorphins are doing WONDERS to keep me sane these days, and even when I’m a bit achey going into the workout, I feel the absolute most like myself after taking a class (shocker right? Somethings never change….;) ). Babe has also started to stay awake during Pump classes and he moves around lots, particularly after the chest track which is just hysterical to me for some reason LOL…

My hope is to get out to at least 2 – 3 classes next week while I’m off work, and really, to keep going right up until the birth if possible! I can’t come up with a reason at this point for me to stop what I’m doing, so it’s full steam ahead as far as I’m concerned!

On the eating side, you’ll be glad to know that my drumstick phase is officially over (damn, that lasted a while lol), and I’ve moved on to just devouring as much as physically possible. I sometimes go into what I call “bread blackouts” and will just eat three pieces of plain, un-toasted bread right out of the bag while standing at the counter (much to Matt’s dismay – the poor guy budgets out exactly to the slice how much bread he needs for his sandwiches for the week, and these bread blackouts have been messing with his mojo big time LOL).

Sleeping, for the first time in this entire pregnancy, has become a bit more of a challenge, but just a bit. I’ve been waking up several times a night, mostly because I’m finding myself rolling onto my back in my sleep, which is a bit uncomfortable now. Jamming a small pillow in behind my back is helping somewhat, but last night when I did that, I woke up super sweaty, hot and a bit disoriented and ended up hurling the pillow across in the room in sleepy confusion lol (dear lord – please don’t let me do that to my baby 😐 ). I’m taking solace in the fact that I’m only setting an alarm for ONE MORE DAY, and then I’ll be able to sleep in / nap as I please!

*insert happy dance*

I wanted to finish off today by thanking everyone for their super kind words and encouragement as Babe and I round the last of the corners in our pregnancy and are barreling down on the finish line. I’ve been surrounded by so much love and support throughout this pregnancy, and I really believe that this has contributed to how lucky I’ve been in terms of how I’m feeling / what I’ve been able to do etc It truly means the world to us – thank you! ❤

I’m sure I’ll be here next week with our 38 week in review……but hey, you just never know 😉

Have a great week!!

-Sara & Babe xo

36 Weeks

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For those of you who are SUPER perceptive….you may notice that my blonde is back! I bit the bullet and got my highlights re-done on the weekend, and Babe doesn’t seem to have minded too much (in fact, I think he slept through the entire appointment lol). Although I was mega-freaked to get it done, reassurance from my midwife, and from most of my more credible forums online pushed me to just do it. And I’m glad I did – as it turns out, being blonde is kind of part of my identity, and I was really missing it as my natural colour was growing in more and more!

Although I’m far from “suffering” over here, I just can’t believe how S-L-O-W-L-Y the weeks are dragging by….my god! It feels like 36 weeks was seriously 3 weeks long! It’s been a busy week, and my energy levels are seriously fading, making it somewhat of a challenge to keep up with things these days.

On Thursday night, Matt and I went to a car seat workshop up at the Milton Fire Hall hosted by the City of Halton where they teach you a bit about car seat safety and then do an inspection of your installed car seat to make sure that you’ve done it correctly. I had little part in installing our car seat, but Matt whipped through it in about 3 minutes claiming that it was “EASY AS PIE”, so I was curious to see how the experts graded his handy work 😉

He was perfect – go figure!

I had  a REALLY negative experience going for a prenatal massage on Friday afternoon and it took me a couple of days to get over the stress of the whole thing (seriously – who goes to a massage and leaves a basket of stress???). Without getting into too much detail, I was really freaked out by a couple of things that the therapist wanted to do / did without asking me, like use essential oils in the room and rub them all over my neck and shoulders. Everything I’ve read online / in books about essential oils says that using them is somewhat of a controversial topic in pregnancy (you know – along with hot dogs and feta cheese…..lol 😉 ), and  bottom line was that if she had asked me, I would have said NO, keep them away from me for right now please. But, I wasn’t given that choice, so instead was relegated to a full day of surfing Google reading articles about how potentially dangerous certain essential oils can be, and trying to decipher what the hay oils were used on me to see if any of them were on the forbidden list.

Grumble grumble grumble.

If I could give any health practicioner dealing with a pregnant lady any advice, it would be so simple…..just ASK us what we’re comfortable with! We’re a crazy bunch – believe me when I say: WE WILL TELL YOU if you just give us the opportunity! Sigh…..

On Saturday, Matt and I tackled some freezer cooking / baking! Our kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off (not good for this nesting mama), but man did we power through a lot of cooking / baking!

Over the course of the afternoon, we managed to whip up 4 loaves of homemade herb & cheese bread (SO, so good – if we hadn’t frozen the other three loaves, they would all be gone by now – we tend to black out while eating this bread and come to when the whole loaf is gone….), 48 oatmeal butterscotch chip cookies and 2 chicken penne casseroles. Phew! I was seriously beat by the time the whole operation was said and done – even though truth be told, Matt did more of the heavy lifting then I did 😉

It felt pretty good to get some of that done and into the freezer – although I do have a few more things I’d like to make (maybe something a little healthier than cookies and bread lol). Maybe some soups or something like that…..

It was our friends 30th birthday party on Saturday night, and it was nice to get out of the house and do something non-babe related for a change! It feels like about 98% of our lives are devoted to getting ready for Babe these days (which I know is going to be reality for the next 18+ years likely LOL) – which is super awesome don’t get me wrong, but a change of pace is always nice!

On Sunday we went for our 36.5 week maternity photo session at the always beautiful Andrew’s Scenic Acres (where Matt proposed to me!). I had lots of people give me the advice that I should keep this session in our calendars even though I’ve really been feeling huge and quite ugly lately (if I’m just shootin’ straight with you lol), because I’ll be glad to have the pictures after all is said and done, and more importantly, to show Babe one day. So, keep the session we did, and although I’m really not sure that I’ll like any of the pictures, I have to admit that we had fun doing the session, and we always like to get out to Andrew’s Scenic Acres, which didn’t disappoint on the most gorgeous evening with sunflowers in full bloom……..life is so beautiful 🙂

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My symptoms have been minimal, although a new one has popped up with is that my body temperature is approximately that of the core of the mother-effing SUN these days. Seriously, if this is what menopause / hot flashes is like, then I’m all for hormone therapy, because it’s BRUTAL. I’ll just be sitting there at work, and will suddenly realize that I’m burning up like I’ve been in a tanning bed for about 7.5 consecutive hours….and the sweat……..take it from a VERY sweaty gym-goer……..sweating from doing burpee tuck-jumps is considerably different than sweating from sitting at your desk in an air conditioned office.

All in all, I guess I’ll take the “sun like” body temperature over any more serious symptoms. I’m getting progressively more and more awkward / uncomfortable by the day, but still nothing crazy. My nightly trips to the bathroom are back in full force, but I’m still able to sleep for the most part undisturbed which is nice (I’m trying to stock-pile some of this!).

Overall – although 36 weeks went by SUPER slowly, it was a productive week for us. I’m so very thankful to be working on week 37 now, and can’t help but think that every day brings us significantly closer to meeting Babe now! Baby Centre tells me that we have 21 days until our due date. Um….what?

I’ve been feeling like Babe will come early, although I know that first babies are more often late to the party. Time will tell!

Hope you’ve all had a great week! Chat soon!

-Sara & Babe xo

 

35 Weeks

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When my mom first saw me on the day that the picture was taken she squealed and said “Awww….you had a Minnie Mouse costume when you were a baby that looked just like that!”.

Sigh…..just the look I was going for 😉

Minnie Mouse aside, I have two of these (non-maternity) dresses in different patterns, and I swear to you, they are the only comfortable items of clothing left in my arsenal these days! Pants are way out (have been for two weeks now – that hideously uncomfortable ship has sailed), and recently leggings have been getting on my last nerve too (I’m not loving how they sit UNDER my belly now, and tend to “roll” when I try to pull them up OVER my belly)…..grumble grumble. I only have 10 work days left (!!!!), so basically, 10 days that I have to wear real clothes, and the rest of the time while I’m off and waiting for Babe to arrive, I’ll just sit around in a bathrobe. 😀

Over this past weekend, Matt and I were out and about on the Niagara Peninsula on a bit of a “babymoon” to Niagara on the Lake, and a quick stop-in at our friends cottage on Long Beach as well. The weather was a bit crazy and cold,  but truth be told, I love the cooler / rainy weather, and usually actually enjoy being at cottages when it’s not the “ideal” beach day, so I was happy as can be!

Niagara on the Lake was beautiful as it always is, and we got to stay at the super fancy Queen’s Landing hotel, which was actually a wedding gift from the same friends whose cottage we were visiting (thanks Bailey and Graeme!). We had a fireplace right in our room, and the most gigantic bed I think I’ve ever seen, which was nice for Babe and I.

That being said, I realized just how amazing our bed at home actually is, because after the night in the hotel, I woke up a bit sore and uncomfortable for pretty much the first time this entire pregnancy, and was up in the middle of the night a couple of times with twangs of pain from rolling around, that I normally don’t get at all in our bed at home. Sleeping in our own bed on Monday night confirmed that it was totally bed related, because everything was 100% again sleeping in our bed.

We had a pretty low-key weekend in Niagara on the Lake; we went to a super fancy (and very delicious) restaurant for dinner on Sunday and were sweating bullets that they wouldn’t let us in because we didn’t really bring any fancy clothes, but thank goodness they decided to slum it on that particular day 😉 this restaurant actually served me my first steak that I didn’t feel like I had to nuke because it was under-cooked in this entire pregnancy! Woot!

Once we got home from Niagara on the Lake, I turned my attention to starting to pack our hospital bags, which we have a good start on now. I’m still missing a few items for my bag, but Babe’s bag is in good shape. Matt’s we still need to dig out of the basement, but his will mostly be food and entertainment anyways (since he refuses to pack pyjamas – which he will come to regret, I’m sure). It’s a bit hard to know what we will actually need in these bags; every Google search seems to return a handful of new things that I had never even thought about / heard about before…..but here’s hoping that we’re at least close. I figure over the next few weeks I’ll probably add to all of the bags and they’ll each be 50 lbs by the time we actually take them to the hospital.

We had a great midwife appointment on Tuesday of this week, and she commented that Babe is actually feeling like a baby on the “smaller side” which threw us for a loop (because we’ve been picturing him as a total muncher this entire time, ever since they bumped up our due date by a week because of his size!). She reassured us that that wasn’t a bad thing at all, and probably would make for an easier labour. She (totally) guessed that he would be somewhere between 7 – 8 pounds at birth, but not heavier than 8. Time will tell!

Symptom wise, still not a lot to complain about, my back pain and pelvis pain is actually improving day to day, or at the very least, not INCREASING, which is nice. I’m not loving long walks at all (though let’s be honest – I never did anyways lol), and just feel a bit awkward / uncomfortable when I have to walk for long stretches these days, but I’ll do it if I have to! BodyPump is still feeling great however – and I ended up teaching one more Wednesday class solo tonight, so there you go! I’m going to try to really hold myself accountable to getting at least 2 solid workouts in per week for the next few weeks until our due date; I’m a bit worried that without a class on the schedule to force me into the gym that I’ll end up just phoning it in and lounging around for 4 straight weeks, which won’t do Babe or I any favours in the long run.

I have my first prenatal massage appointment on Friday which I’m looking forward to, and we are also doing our last maternity photo session on Sunday evening at Andrew’s Scenic Acres (the apple orchard / pumpkin patch where Matt proposed!). I’m trying to keep my mind off of the fact that our prenatal classes don’t start until NEXT Saturday…….*hyperventilates*……SO not smart of us……so not smart…….

Anyways, like I’ve written before on this blog, I’m caught in a bit of a cross-hair between wishing that time would go by faster, and trying to savour every last (increasingly STRONG) kick and push on my belly (seriously….boy has been doing his squats, it feels like he’s going to push his foot THROUGH my skin some days lol). It will be so surreal to have Babe on the outside and to have to share him with everyone, and I’m trying to enjoy these last few weeks of our special little bond as much as I can. I know that even with the ups and downs, I will miss these weeks when they’re gone.

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful week, and are settling back into routine with the arrival of September. September / October have always been my two favourite months of the year, and I just love the fresh new feeling that the crisp Fall air brings with it. I hope that this year it brings great things for all of you.

-Sara & Babe xo

34 Weeks

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Hello  Hello!

A couple of people have sent me messages asking if Babe was HERE since I hadn’t posted our 34 week update!! LOL!!

Sorry to disappoint, but I’m still here, and still very much pregnant! In fact, 34 weeks felt like a bit of a seismic shift in just how pregnant I’ve felt. Up to this point, although I’ve been getting huge for a while, I honestly haven’t really felt too much different aside from some aches and pains in my back and pelvis, but this past week I’ve been noticing how much tougher it is to do simple things like stand up (lol), roll over, bend down to pick up things, and the greatest athletic challenge of all…..

Tie my shoes.

Dear god, that was an experience.

I feel like Babe has been on a bit of a growth spurt because my appetite has been voracious again (well, let’s be honest with each other, I don’t think it ever really  became NOT voracious, it has been since about 20 weeks lol), and I’ve definitely grown a bunch in diameter this past week. We have our next midwife appointment on Tuesday after the long weekend, and I can’t wait to see how I measure…..I bet you the change will be significant!

It was another fairly uneventful week for Babe and I; I did end up coming down with a bit of a cold towards the tail end of last week / last weekend, but a few days camped out on the couch and lots of sleep over last weekend managed to prevent it from exploding into a full blown disaster, and we’ve been feeling pretty much back to normal this week, although maybe a bit lower energy than usual.

I’ve been really busy at work with trying to wrap-up projects and hand things over to my replacement, and I’m so grateful that we have such a long crossover period to train / transition, because it’s already been 4 weeks of us working together, and I’m still feeling like I have so much to cover with him! I’m not sure if work is contributing to this, but I’ve found myself pretty beat in the evenings this week, and have been crashing on the couch before I even make it upstairs to bed most nights! This is why my 34 week post is coming a few days late as a matter of fact!

This week, my boss and I went over to Supperworks in Oakville to do some freezer meals. I don’t know what I was thinking before, but clearly Supperworks is the answer to all (or at least some) of my freezer meal planning! My boss and I have been doing it for the past 2 years, and I seriously don’t know why it never occurred to me that these meals would serve just as well as post-Babe freezer meals as they have  for Matt and I……… sheesh.

Supperworks is a GOD SEND for anyone like me who isn’t keen on cooking or meal prep, and strapped for time. Basically Supperworks is a place where you go, and prepare freezer meals off of their pre-set menu for the month to store in Ziploc bags, or sometimes in casserole dishes / aluminum foil. They have all of the fresh ingredients prepped and ready to go for each meal, so you literally just move from station to station and follow the recipe for each meal that you’re preparing (which is as simple as: dump 1/2 cup of chopped onion into the bag, dump 1/4 cup of corn into the bag, add 1/2 tbsp of tomato sauce into the bag etc etc etc). It takes about an hour to make 6 meals, and you can make 3, 6, 9 or 12 meals per session!

Some meals are more work to actually cook at home then others, and they don’t always make full meals (i.e. this time I made a bunch of “cheesy, panko crusted chicken breasts”…..but would  need to serve them with something else to make a complete meal), which is why I was kind of leaning towards doing some different freezer meals on my own that are more complete meals, and even less work to cook then some of the Supperworks meals.

I’m talkin’ two steps: 1) remove from freezer, 2) place in oven.

Anyways, with about 9 Supperworks meals in our freezer, I’m feeling a bit better that we at least have something up our sleeve in case our little monkey decides to arrive early, but I’m still planning to work on a couple more over the next few weeks. Plus, as I get lazier and lazier, chances are we may dip  into some of those meals before he even arrives so…….yea 😉

I taught my last “official” BodyPump class on schedule this past Wednesday, and I seriously felt GREAT teaching / working out?! I had a couple of weeks in a row several weeks back now where I was feeling pretty uncomfortable teaching, and kind of assumed that it would only increase exponentially as the weeks rolled on, but it hasn’t been the case at all! In fact, about 90% of my pelvic pain is GONE now?! WTF?!

The fact that I’m still feeling so great in the studio is one of the greatest miracles for me, sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed with gratitude to be honest. Although my heart hurts to not be able to do BodyAttack or BodyStep anymore, BodyPump has truly allowed me to keep sane for this pregnancy, and I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated this program so much in my entire 10 year teaching career. Without BodyPump, I would have been out of the studio / teaching completely at about 6 months, and that would have been so, so hard for both my mental and physical state. Probably more mental than physical to be honest.

I’m still feeling like I’ve got at least a couple of good weeks left in me to team-teach and / or participate, but am going to step back from teaching on my own now that I’m almost 36 weeks along, and lord only knows what plans Mother Nature has for Babe and I! 😉 I’m feeling good about the decision, and really happy that I still have the option to team-teach / participate at this stage. I know how lucky we are, and I don’t take that for granted.

My last (2) updates from this week are that no, I haven’t yet packed my hospital bag, but I’ve been gathering like a winter squirrel, and just need to get organized on what actually needs to go in the bag lol…..for some reason I’m much more concerned about packing Matt’s bag and making sure that he has enough food at the hospital (why do they always totally ignore feeding the husbands?!)….so that’s on my list to tackle this long weekend at some point in and amongst other fun.

We are on our way to Niagara on the Lake for a night this weekend for a mini baby-moon getaway, and spending some time at our friends Bailey and Graeme’s cottage as well which should be nice (although a bit chilly I hear?! Helloooooo sweet, sweet Fall – my very favourite time of year!!). Tonight we are on our way to Burlington Ribfest, but no, I won’t be eating much from there lol…..pregnancy completely aside, the last three times I’ve eaten meat at Ribfest I’ve ended up puking in the middle of the night, and this gal is done turning into a salmon for this pregnancy thank you very much!

Fries for me please! 😀

FINALLY…..I’ll leave you with a few of our favourite shots from a mini-maternity session that we did with the very talented Sarah Martin from Sarah Martin Photography back at 25 weeks / our baby shower! Hard to believe the change since then! We have another maternity session scheduled for next weekend at 36.5 weeks…..where does the time go….

Happy Long Weekend to all!

-Sara & Babe xo

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33 Weeks

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This week has been one for the books! As I was writing about last week, Babe and I were downtown for the Can Fit Pro World Fitness Expo from Friday – Sunday this week, and between getting ready to go, and recovering from the weekend, it feels like that was pretty much all we accomplished this week!

I’ve been to the Can Fit Pro conference every year for the past 10 years (my first year was 2007…..I just can’t believe how the time flies!), and I wasn’t about to miss this year if there was anything I could do about it! This conference is one of the highlights of my year every year because it’s such a great opportunity to get together with like-minded fitness professionals from every walk of life across the industry and learn, learn, learn. It’s also a great weekend to spend with our friends from all over the industry, and just re-fill the old inspiration bucket (as if it could ever really get low when it comes to group fitness!).

The million dollar question that all of my friends and family from outside of the fitness industry always ask every year is….

So like…what do you do at these conferences?

And it’s a fair question!

The part that everyone sees on social media (sorry about that crazy tsunami of posts and pictures BTW, it only happens once a year for us and we get a bit excited!!) is what we call the “masterclasses”. These masterclasses are specific to Les Mills instructors, and basically, our team of Canadian Les Mills national trainers, combined with special international guest presenters from our educational DVDs (including some from New Zealand – sometimes even our Program Directors if we’re really lucky!) will take us through the NEXT round of new releases for all of our Les Mills programs coming to GoodLife clubs in the Fall, but on a huge, Lady Gaga style, rock-concert stage, with awesome lights and sound that would make Tiesto swoon.

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These events have really gotten to be huge over the past several years, and we’ve really been to some MASSIVE classes (I think the biggest being the 2,000+ person BodyPump class that a few of us got to do in New Orleans back in 2014). It really is a pretty unbelievable experience to pack that many Les Mills nuts into one room, it’s nothing short of a miracle that none of these convention centre buildings have come crashing to the ground yet, I swear!

The OTHER, less publicized, part of the weekend is the more cerebral, lecture style learning that takes place, where we get to register for all different types of education sessions taught by world class presenters from all over the industry on everything from nutrition, to different mental health topics, to supplementation, to fitness for specific populations, to coaching, to injury rehab, to new fitness industry trends and fads, and the list goes on and on and on! Although slightly less sexy than the Lady Gaga style masterclasses, if you pick the right ones, the lectures can be really fascinating and really inspiring as well.

SO….normally, this weekend involves about 9 hours of pretty intense exercise in 2 days, pretty minimal sleep / food, and a fair bit of alcohol in the evenings (cause you know….balance). This particular weekend, as you can imagine, looked a little different for Babe and I!

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I’ve been a little stressed about how on earth I was going to keep up with these masterclasses / workouts given that I can’t really jump or run anymore at all, and my back / pelvic pain has been ratcheting up and up with each passing week. I also had a bit of an emotional freak-out on Thursday night when I realized that there was literally NOTHING good / healthy that I could pack to eat for lunch on the Friday at the conference since there are no microwaves or anything like that at the convention centre (and there’s no way that I would eat meat or much else in terms of cooked food that was cool, or even at room temperature), and really no place to buy anything decent to eat on-site (or at least anything that meets my food safety OCD standards these days).

I finally defaulted to bringing bagels and cream cheese (packed in about 4 different ice packs) to get me through Friday. Eye roll.

I did my best with all of the masterclasses that I could, and was pleasantly surprised at how much Babe and I were able to do. We managed to do: RPM, SH’BAM, BodyPump, BodyStep, BodyJam and BodyAttack. Not too shabby for 33.5 weeks!!

I would have loved to have done more, and to be able to do the classes that we did do at full impact / intensity, but it just wasn’t in the cards this year, and that’s okay! One of my favourite takeaways from this year’s conference was from the Opening Ceremonies keynote presentation by Tony Horton (the creator of P90X; one of the Beach Body at home workout programs!) where he talked about the 6 steps to living a simpler, healthier, more fulfilled and productive life. And the very first step:

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Something about that little tidbit really stuck with me and has become something of a personal mantra for me, and I’ve realized how true it is in so many aspects. All we can do is our best at any given time. Sometimes, our best isn’t really good enough, but that still doesn’t change the fact that our best is all we have to give. It’s all we have!

There’s no sense worrying about comparing our best effort to someone else’s on a given day, or to what we think the right way to do something is, or what life tells us is “the actual best”. All we can do is our best. Period. And I did my best all weekend long, so I can feel good about that!

By the end of the weekend, Babe and I were pretty exhausted from not much sleep, not great nutrition, and just general fatigue from a big weekend away. I’m coming down with a cold now, and fighting it off as hard as I can!! Please, please stay away cold!!

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In terms of other pregnancy updates, I’m getting more and more uncomfortable, especially in the evenings, with aches and pains in my upper back / mid back. Sleep seems to regenerate me completely, and I always wake up 100% pain-free in the morning, but the pain seems to settle in as the long days in an office chair progress. I’m really looking forward to my osteopath / massage appointments coming up in early / mid September!

Eating has gotten a little better for me (in the sense that I’m slowly getting a little bit of mojo back for cooking / planning meals – even very simple ones) and I’ve been pretty happy with the balance of foods that I’ve been getting every day. I’ve still got my eye on that McDonalds meal, and the time is fast approaching…..mua ha ha ha. I’m also unapologetically eating a Nestle Drumstick a day.

Still not sorry.

Recently I’ve been finding myself in a bit of a panic mode that OMG Babe will be here in 6 short weeks, OR LESS. I don’t know what the hay my Type-A personality was thinking, but our prenatal classes aren’t scheduled until September 16th / 23rd…. 37 / 38 weeks?!?

WHAT. THE. EFF was I thinking?! He could so easily be here by then?!

My goal for the next 2 weeks is to get organized with some video / book resources and start doing some more home learning, JUST IN CASE little duck has a mind of his own and decides to come ahead of schedule / ahead of prenatal classes. Our hospital bags are getting packed at 35 weeks as well, so that really only leaves another week to gather that stuff together! Eeks!

Well, I think that’s all from us for this week, I hope that all of my teacher / parent friends and family are enjoying the last few weeks of the summer, and are feeling refreshed and ready for back to school! I’ve always, always loved the Fall, and the first week of September always feels so fresh and new. If you’re finding yourself stressed / overwhelmed leading up to September, give my new mantra a try….it works wonders for me in just about all situations!

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-Sara & Babe xo