5 Things I Survived The First Year of Motherhood

With Mother’s Day right around the corner I was reflecting back on my first year of motherhood and a few random memories came back to me. It is hard to believe that my oldest is now in elementary school. I hope you enjoy reading about 5 things I survived my first year of motherhood.

Weird Dreams

I’d wake up at night believing I’d brought the baby into bed and that I lost him in the sheets. I nearly had a panic attack the first time it happened. I was frantic mess screaming, turning on the lights, and ripping the sheets off our bed. Josh would wake up both confused and alarmed. Then he would go check on the baby in his room and there he would be sleeping soundly. Josh had to keep reassuring me that he was in his crib. I was in tears and it took me going into his room to see he was ok for me to be able to try to sleep again. It  happened every night for a few weeks.

Other nights Josh would wake up to find me roaming the hallway. I honestly think I was sleep walking because in my head I was holding the baby nursing him back to sleep while I walked up and down the hall. Josh would turn on the lights and repeatedly ask me what I was doing. I was annoyed because I couldn’t understand how he couldn’t see I was feeding the baby. Then I would look down and see that I was holding my very engorged boobs thinking they were the baby. Very weird but eventually it became almost comical, I said almost, it still freaked me out a little. Anyone else have crazy nightmares like this?

Projectile Vomit

I was so concerned something was horribly wrong with my son when this would happen. And it didn’t happen often. This picture captured my son’s little smile after he had unloaded on me. It was everywhere. Hair, face, body, and floor.

And this episode was totally my fault. He spiked his first fever and after calling the pediatrician they said it would be ok to give him medicine. I was trying to give him infant Tylenol with the dispenser and accidentally caused a gag reflex.

My Husband’s Firefighter Schedule

I really wasn’t sure how I would do with Josh being gone for 24 hours, sometimes 48 hours, at a time. Babywise helped so much because I had a schedule and routine to follow that we rarely deviated from. I knew what time I would be nursing and putting the baby down for naps each and everyday regardless of when my husband was home.

The fire department really is our extended family and Josh has been fortunate with the people and crews he has worked with. They have let him come home for emergency’s, welcomed our family into the station for visits, and given us gently used clothes and toys.

It wasn’t until we had our first baby that I really began to see the benefits of the firefighter schedule for Josh and our family. He has been able to spend so much time with our kids doing the day to day things that most dads don’t have the availability to do with a nine to five job.

Funny fact. I went into labor while Josh was on shift with baby 1, 2, and 3.

Mastitis

Mastitis is an infection of breast tissue that is caused by clogged milk ducts, tight fitting bras, and not emptying the breast all the way during feedings. The symptoms include fever, tender and swollen breast, nausea and/or vomiting, and overall fatigue.

Eight weeks postpartum I went to swim laps and go for run. I got dressed after my swim and discovered my sport bras did not fit me very well and were quite tight. Later on that day I noticed a huge and painful lump in my right breast. It felt like a golf ball had been shoved under my skin. I knew from my friends that this meant I had a clogged duct and there was the possibility that I could develop mastitis.

I immediately began massaging my chest to see if I could release the clog (this was really painful) and made an appointment to see my doctor. Several hours later I was diagnosed with mastitis. Booooooo. I was told to go and invest in new bras, and was prescribed several herbal remedies, antibiotics, and a lymphatic massage for my treatment. A few weeks later I was feeling much better.

Related Reading: My Breastfeeding Story & Pumping, Dumping, Freezing Breastmilk and Bottle Feeding

The Cockroach

This last and final story really doesn’t have anything to do with motherhood directly it just happened during my first year of being a mom. We had large cockroaches that lived around our townhouse. When the complex was sprayed each month it wasn’t unusual to have 5-10 dead on our doorstep.

Josh and I had turned out the lights and gone to bed and within minutes he was already asleep. Shortly after I heard this weird noise on the wall behind me. Seconds later I felt something fall on my head and into my hair. Sitting upright in bed Josh woke up asking what I was doing. I told him something had fallen on me. After the weird dreams I had been having about the baby he told I should go back to sleep. When I laid my head back down I felt something moving in my hair. I started screaming, shaking my head, jumping up and down and stripping off my clothes, while turing on the lights. Josh kept telling my to be quite because the baby was going to wake up. And that is when we saw the huge cockroach crawling around in our bed.

Thankfully my hysterically screaming didn’t wake up the baby or disturb the neighbors we shared common walls with. I had the hardest time going back to sleep even after changing the sheets and taking a shower. And that is saying a lot for a mama with a newborn to not be able to fall asleep ;).

I treasure being a mother to my children and I hope you enjoyed this post! I would love to know something you survived your first year of motherhood.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful mama’s this weekend! Enjoy your blessings that God has given you!

Related Reading: A Mother’s Day Tribute

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My Thoughts On Blogging

It is hard to believe that I have been blogging since November 2011. Wow. I wanted to share some recent thoughts I have had about blogging. If you are a blogger perhaps you can relate and if not maybe it will give you a behind the scene glimpse into the blogosphere. I have had my content stolen by other bloggers, mine and my children’s images used without permission, and most recently my entire blog was hacked. If you visited here last week and were redirected due to the hack I would like to apologize. I never thought this would happen to my blog. I am so happy to be back up and running thanks to Ryan and the amazing team at Southern Web. If you need any help with your website or blog I highly recommend them! 

When I first started blogging I overshared. I cringe when I look back at some of my posts. Most of which have been removed from being public at this point. And the area that I overshared the most was discussing my children. Thankfully I felt convicted on this more and more over the years. Last year Josh and I made the decision that we would not be posting photos of the kids on our social media accounts and I would not share photos on the blog. As a mother I am choosing to make their security a priority and limit their digital footprint.

About 5 years ago my husband was at the mall with our son who was 18 months old at the time (yep you can tell this story is old because people still shopped at the mall instead of on Amazon). Two women came up to Josh that he had never met before. They were saying hello to him and our son by name, saying how cute our son was, and that they read my blog and really loved our family.

While I think the intention of those ladies at the mall was harmless, I also couldn’t stop thinking about how that scenario would play out as my son grew older. Would he one day resent me for sharing his images and stories on the internet without his permission? Would I regret the amount of information I had shared, knowing that I had helped build his online presence and history from a young age?

As a grappled with those questions a few months later our daughter was born. Though I continued to share photo’s and information on this blog and my social media channels a nagging feeling was lingering underneath my writing. I wondered should I really be doing this? I didn’t want to stop blogging but maybe I needed a course correction.

At this time my life felt like it was spiraling out of control. I had postpartum depression and anxiety after our daughter was born and I felt overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with figuring out how to take care of two kids under the age of two, overwhelmed with what direction I should be blogging and honestly just overwhelmed with life in general. At this lowest point I realized I could no longer just say that God was fully in control of my mind and heart. I would actually need to surrender control over to him. The course correction I was seeking wasn’t only for what direction I should be blogging. Ultimately I was trying to figure out who I was living for and who I was trying to glorify in the process.

The ugliness and brokenness inside me wasn’t something I wanted to glorify. Instead of seeking out what the world was offering me through mind numbing reality television, social media feeds, and the latest headlines of breaking news I started to pursue Jesus. And my soul started to rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28 – 30

I would love to say this was easy but it wasn’t. It was hard and painful. But the more I kept pursuing Jesus the more I started to find peace that I hadn’t felt in years. Through this refining process I let go of areas in my life that didn’t honor the Lord, like teaching yoga. In letting areas of my life die, God in his goodness, breathed new life into me by leading me into pursuing foster care.

It has been really amazing to see the transformation of my writing style and content over the last 7 years. This blog started out as a way to document my health and wellness journey. It has provided our family with additional income and allowed me to connect and build relationships with more people.

The biggest and most unexpected blessing blogging has provided me is the ability to witness and revisit the greatest transformation happening in my life. I am being made new in Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17

I am thankful for the ability to freely write about any topic I wish and to encourage others in the process. Thank you so much for reading! I appreciate all of you who take the time to visit The Workout Mama.

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What Happened When I Eliminated Eggs, Sugar, & Caffeine For 28 Days

This post could have easily been titled “I Gained 15 Pounds in 2018” because I did. Towards the end of 2018 between numerous bought of sickness that spread like wildfire throughout our home and the ridiculous amounts of baking I did over the holidays I discovered I had gained 15 pounds after ringing in the New Year.

I was actually fairly surprised because I didn’t really feel heavier. I honestly hadn’t even been paying attention to how I looked in the mirror. When you have 4 kids time management becomes very important. I could probably win a gold medal at this point for how fast I can go to the bathroom, change a diaper, and get myself and all the kids dressed ;).

In February I knew I wanted to overhaul how I was fueling my body and also commit to exercise more consistently each week. So here is what I started doing.

WHAT I ELIMINATED FROM MY DIET

I eliminated 3 main things from my diet that I knew weren’t helping me. Eggs. Added Sugar. Caffeine.

Eggs

I had been so good about staying away from eggs the last few years but slowly in 2018 I attempted to eat them again, mainly by baking cookies and cake. I discovered several years ago through an elimination diet that eggs gave me severe skin rashes and swollen eyes. In fact the day after I took my before picture that I am using in this post I developed the most horrible all over body hives and swollen eyes I have ever had in my entire life. I had to go to the doctor and was prescribed steroids because they were so bad.

Added Sugar

The amount of sugar I was consuming was ridiculous. The American Heart Association recommends the maximum amount of added sugars women should have each day is 25 grams or 6 teaspoons. Most days I was consuming well over this amount. For the month of February I used this recommendation and only ate natural sugars. Meaning no candy, juices, cookies, cakes, breads, pancakes, etc…but instead more fruits and I used maple syrup as a sweetener.

Caffeine

Hi. My name is Tamara and I am an iced tea addict. I love iced tea. I don’t drink coffee or soda but I would take a China Mist iced tea anytime of day. I had been having a really hard time falling asleep the last few months even though I was so tired. So I ditched the tea and focused on drinking more water.

WHAT I HAVE BEEN EATING

When I first wake up I drink a glass of room temperature water. Then for breakfast I have a smoothie with spinach, frozen dark cherries, banana, avocado, chia seeds, water, and a scoop of this protein powder. For lunch and dinner I have either chicken, salmon, or tri-tip with lots of vegetables which is usually a salad or a sweet potato with avocado. I just discovered this dressing and love it.

For snacks I have been making a fruit parfait with siggis yogurt, the Fitnessista amazeballs, or more fruit. Each week I have been trying to drink at least 3 green juices. I am also drinking about a gallon of water daily and making way more trips to the bathroom ;).

MY EXERCISE PLAN

I will be sharing more on this in the next two weeks but I wanted to have a plan to follow because I am always more successful when I have one. I decided to sign up for one month of Gina’s Home Workout Warrior Live plan. I am so glad I did! It came with 5 days of workouts each week and a meal plan. I haven’t really been following the meal plan because of eliminating eggs but it was still worth it. I have 1 more week to go before I am finished. I started this plan on Monday February 11.

THE RESULTS

I feel so much better overall. I am so happy with how I am eating now and that I started exercising more consistently again. I don’t normally weigh myself but I decided I should in February and I lost 6 pounds. I went from 150 and now I am 144.

Before & After Eliminating Eggs, Added Sugar, and Caffeine
Before & After Eliminating Eggs, Added Sugar, and Caffeine

I think it is so important whenever you do make a change like this to track also how your body feels, not just how you look. My periods had been off the chart lately with cramping and heavier bleeding and this month it was so much better! My skin also didn’t break out before my period either which was so amazing. I am sleeping better and have so much more energy. My head hits the pillow lately and I am out. I sometimes even fall asleep before my husband shockingly. And he makes sleeping look like an olympic event by how quickly he can fall asleep.

So there you have it! This was an honest look into the start of my fitness/wellness journey for this year. I love the accountability this blog has provided for me during other times in my life and knew I wanted to connect back to this space again for this reason. I am off to get to sleep because I will be up soon enough to exercise and spend time in the bible before the kids wake up. Thanks for reading :).

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